The IDA program can be an amazing boost to a small business or other endeavor, but it can be complicated! Please ask questions at any point in the process.


VIDA IDA Handbook 


What is required of a small business saver before they can begin withdrawing funds?

A small-business saver must complete an online money-management course, a 6-week workshop series called Business Foundations, and complete a business plan that NEOEDD and CASA must approve.


What is required of an education saver before they can begin withdrawing funds?

An education saver must complete an online money-management course, an Education and Career-Planning Worksheet, and a worksheet detailing a minimum of 6 hours of asset-specific research (e.g. meeting with a career counselor at your school).


What is required of a vehicle saver before they can begin withdrawing funds?

A vehicle saver must complete an online money-management course and a worksheet called The True Cost of Car Ownership. There are additional rules about how you may purchase the vehicle; please inquire with NEOEDD staff.


What does “household” income mean?

The IDA program considers your entire household’s income when it determines whether you’re qualified for the program. This means your spouse’s/domestic partner’s income, savings, and assets, as well as the same of your children if they reside in your home.


Roommates or housemates who have completely separate bank accounts, tax returns, etc., do not constitute a “household” for IDA purposes.


What if my income has changed significantly since my last tax return?

If you currently qualify for the IDA but your tax return shows more income than you’re currently earning, or you have experienced a divorce or other major change to your household, talk to NEOEDD staff. It’s possible you can write a letter of explanation and still be eligible for the program.


What if I have seasonal or otherwise sporadic income as an employee (i.e. not a freelancer with many clients)?

Provide your most recent paystubs from a seasonal employer along with a written explanation of the terms of employment. A contract would be best.


May I use IDA savings to pay for past purchases or debt?

No. IDA savings may only be used for purchases made after all of the program’s requirements have been met.


How do I fill out the Savings Plan Agreement?

The things you need to figure out are:

  • What am I saving for? (E.g. industrial sewing machine, new signage and website, computer)
  • How much money do I need for that?
  • How much time do I want to take to save that much?

This cheat sheet may help you visualize your options. You may also make up to three “lump sum” deposits (one per savings year) of up to $700. Making these will affect your monthly deposit.

What if I start saving, and then I miss deposits or need the money I’ve saved?

The money in the savings account is always yours, and you will be able to withdraw it should you need to leave the program. However, the match funds are only accessible by completing the program requirements. There may a delay of up to a week between your request to withdraw funds and the withdrawal of funds.


May children use this program to save for college?

Yes; they need to be 12 or older and, once accepted into the program, will open an independent bank account. They will need to qualify using the entire household income, and have their own income (babysitting, lawn mowing, employment in a local business, etc.)


May I save for a house down payment?

Yes, but not via NEOEDD. To save for a house down payment, contact Community Connection.