WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Organization on
Disability commends President Bush's signing today of the Victims of Terrorism
Tax Relief Act. The bill was passed by both houses of Congress in December and
incorporates the Structured Settlements Protection Act (SSPA), which will
apply to all injury victims, including victims of terrorism.
Under the SSPA, court oversight and approval will now be required for
injury victims who choose to sell payments from a structured settlement to a
third-party company. This will protect the rights of those who have received
disabling injuries so that they will receive the full settlements they have
"The tax relief legislation passed today is a sign of compassion, and of
the President's and Congress's dedication to helping the victims of the
terrorist strikes. The Structured Settlements Protection Act is an excellent
extension of that concern," said N.O.D. President Alan A. Reich. "The SSPA
will guard Americans who have acquired or will acquire disabilities due to
accidents or crimes, from companies that would take advantage of them
financially." Reich and N.O.D. had joined forces with others to work for the
passage of the SSPA, which Congress identified as a disability-related issue.
The recent terrorist attacks drove home just how critical it is that people
who have received settlements not be victimized once again.
Recognized by Congress since 1982, structured settlements provide long-
term financial security to injury victims and their families through a stream
of payments tailored to their needs. The new federal protection addresses
concerns about "factoring," in which companies purchase future structured
settlement payments in exchange for a cash sum, often much less than the
victim is scheduled to receive. The new legislation provides for a substantial
federal excise tax on any company trying to purchase future payments from
injury victims, unless a state court first approves the transaction as being
in the best interests of the victim.
The National Organization on Disability, founded in 1982, promotes the
full and equal participation and contribution of America's 54 million men,
women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life. For more
information about N.O.D.'s programs, visit http://www.nod.org .
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SOURCE National Organization on Disability