Corporate Voices for Working Families has released its 2008 Employer Guide: Educate Your Employees About the Benefits They’ve Earned.  This is the sixth year that Corporate Voices has updated the Employer Guide and made it available to companies as a way to help low-wage employees take advantage of a host of federal benefits available to them.  The guide provides detailed information about the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Medicaid and other federal benefits.

Donna Klein, president and founder of Corporate Voices, said: “Employees earn these benefits but many do not know how to take advantage of them because of the complexity of the programs and paperwork involved. The information in this reference guide helps employers inform employees and shows them how to keep more of what they earn. And by helping employees claim tax credits and federal benefits, companies build trust by making employees aware of valuable resources.”

 

 The Employer Guide includes the following tools:

 

·      Information on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Advance EITC, the Child Tax Credit, Medicaid/State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) centers.

·      Tips on how employers can talk to employees about tax credits and federal benefits.

·      Step-by-step instructions on how to enroll employees in Advanced EITC.

·      Guidelines to help employees avoid predatory tax-preparation practices.

·      Corporate best practices on how to best use the Employer Guide to help employees access these programs.

·      Calendar of important dates to remember when filing for these benefits.

·      Facts on the “Stored Value Card,” often referred to as the pre-paid debit card.

·      Paycheck stuffers – available in both English and Spanish.

 The Employer Guide also contains a CD that allows recipients to rebrand the toolkit with their logo and images.

 

 The Annie E. Casey, Ford and Hitachi Foundations fund the production of the Employer Guide: Educate Your Employees About the Benefits They’ve Earned. 

 

 “The Employer Guide gives companies the tools and detailed instructions to talk with workers throughout the year and increase their awareness that they are eligible and should apply for these programs to supplement their income,” Klein said.

 

 The Employer Guide can be downloaded at the Publications and Toolkits section of the Corporate Voices Web site.  To simplify the process of gathering information about programs administered by state agencies, visitors can also link to state and local programs from the Corporate Voices for Working Families Web site.