N.O.D. Applauds Passage of Structured Settlements Protection Act as Part Of The Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act, Signed by the President Wednesday

    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
 been awarded.
     "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

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