As an employee, you will have certain rights and obligations. Although there are some exceptions, your employer must generally provide regular breaks, overtime pay, worker’s compensation insurance, and unemployment insurance. You should know that your job is not guaranteed, and you can be fired without being given a reason, unless your personnel manual or collective bargaining agreement grants you additional rights. However, in Delaware it is illegal for employers to discriminate against a person because the individual has a disability, or based on certain other characteristics like race or sexual orientation. For more information on employment and vocational rights for Delaware Transition-Age Youth and their Families please refer to the guide available at: http://transition.declasi.org/employment-and-vocational-rights/
Taxes are fees charged by local, state and federal governments and paid by individuals and businesses. This money is used to run government programs. Frequently, federal, state and local taxes are taken directly out of your paycheck before you get it. You do not have a choice regarding this. Be sure to review your pay stubs regularly to make sure that they are accurate. You may also have to pay additional taxes directly to the government.
The amount of tax that each person must pay depends on a number of things. Calculating the amount can be very complicated, and sometimes requires assistance from tax professionals. Fortunately, there are a number of free programs that can help you figure out whether or not you need to submit a tax return, and if so, they can also help you to complete the forms which must generally be submitted by April of each year.
The following organizations provide free Personal Income Tax filing assistance, or referral for assistance, to eligible Delaware taxpayers:
If you have never submitted a tax return before, it can be hard to know what types of receipts you will need to submit. However, you will receive important documents from your employer (such as a W-2 form, which you should receive by January 31st), and your bank or other financial investment institutions (interest earned), that you will need to calculate and submit your taxes. Therefore, it is important to watch for these in the mail and to keep them for preparing your taxes. Your W-2 will also have important information regarding how much tax has already been taken out of your paychecks.
There are also some things that you may be able to deduct or get a credit for, on your tax forms, to reduce the amount of taxes you owe. Examples can include child care costs, donations to charities, work-related expenses, and more. You should keep receipts of these things with your taxes. You should consult with a tax professional if you are unsure whether you must report something on your taxes, if you are unsure if you can deduct or get a credit for something on your taxes, or you have any other questions or concerns about your taxes.
When deciding what type of bank account or credit card to open, first, you should ask about the types of accounts that are available. This will help you decide what type of account would be right for you. Ask about the services and interest rate, but it’s also important to ask about the fees, if you would be required to keep a minimum balance, and the bank’s overdraft program services. Of course you want to try to avoid having to pay fees as much as possible, so you can keep your hard earned money for yourself! You can download additional information on banking and credit cards at: http://transition.declasi.org/age-of-majority/.
It is very important to establish “good credit” and to have a good credit “score.” Paying your bills on time and not spending more money than you make will help you to establish good credit. If you pay your bills on time, you will have a good credit rating. However, the more often you fail to pay, the more your credit score will suffer. A low credit score will make you pay a higher interest rate to borrow money. If your credit score is too low, it’s possible that banks or other companies will not want to offer you a loan. Poor credit also makes it hard to rent an apartment and to buy a house or a car. A poor credit score may impact your ability to get certain jobs or professional licenses.
A credit report includes information on where you live, how promptly you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or have filed for bankruptcy. Companies keep track of how promptly you pay your bills and issue “credit reports”. Other companies use these reports to decide whether they will let you buy items using credit. Also, the rating is used to determine how much interest you have to pay, and whether you will be approved for a loan (such as a car loan or a mortgage on a home) if you ever do need to borrow money.
Reviewing your credit report is a great way to help guard against identity theft. That’s when someone uses your personal information — like your name, your Social Security number, or your credit card number — to commit fraud. This negatively affects your credit when the thief does not pay the bills opened in your name. This affects your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job. How to avoid identity theft will be discussed in more detail in the next section.
Under federal law, you have the right to one free credit report every 12 months from each of three major credit-reporting agencies. You can order your credit report in the following three ways:
However, be aware of “imposter” websites, as these may require the payment of fees that are hidden in the fine print. Only one website is authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report you are entitled to under law — annualcreditreport.com.
When someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission, it is called identity theft. For example, someone might use your name and information to open a credit card with your name on it, and then uses that credit card to buy things. It’s a serious crime that can really mess up your finances and credit— and can take time, money, and patience to fix.
Protecting your personal information can help reduce your risk of identity theft. Protect your identity by:
If you do become a victim of identity theft, if you take action quickly, you can stop an identity thief from doing more damage. The Federal Trade Commission recommends you follow these three steps as soon as possible:
If you are interested in learning even more about how to prevent identity theft, you can visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Consumer Information Site: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft
Having a telephone will help you find jobs, access health care services, connect with family, call for help in an emergency, and more. Because paying for a home or wireless phone can be expensive, the “Lifeline” government benefit program can provide you with discounts ($9.25 per month in 2014) on your monthly telephone service if you meet the eligibility requirements. Frequently, the plans include a free telephone. If your income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty level or if you participate in certain assistance programs, you will typically qualify.
The following links have more detail on the program and eligibility: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/lifeline-and-link-affordable-telephone-service-income-eligible-consumers and http://www.lifelinesupport.org/ls/. However, note that only one “Lifeline” discount is available per household, and that a person cannot get the discount for both a wireless and a home phone at the same time. Contact information for participating companies can be found at: http://www.lifelinesupport.org/ls/companies/CompanyListing.aspx?state=DE&stateName=Delaware.
 Delaware State employees may not be discharged or suspended for more than 30 days in a year period, except for cause, once they have completed the probationary period. 29 Del. C. § 5949.
 However, an adult without a child cannot qualify for the EITC until the tax year in which he turns 25.
 Such as Medicaid, food stamps/SNAP, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, TANF, or the Free Lunch Program. Also, if you are part of a Head Start program or if you receive other state assistance you may qualify.