The May 2018 issue of our AchievABLE Newsletter contains stories on the following:
- New Webinar Open for Registration
- Texas Launches ABLE Program
- ABLE Advisor Profile: Meet Regina Bradley and Family
- Webinar Archive Now Available: Social Security’s Updated ABLE Guidance – A Deeper Dive
New Webinar Open for Registration: ABLE Program Spotlight Series Featuring the National ABLE Alliance
Every other month the ABLE National Resource Center will conduct an “ABLE Program Spotlight” webinar. These “Spotlight” webinars will feature a different ABLE program, or group of ABLE programs, and will allow potential ABLE account owners, and all other ABLE stakeholders, an opportunity to learn the specific details about that individual program.
In this webinar, you will learn about the unique features of the 15-state (and growing) National ABLE Alliance program, representing almost one-quarter of the eligible ABLE population. Topics will include:
- Brief summary of the ABLE Act
- Why the Alliance came together
- What Alliance member plans offer
- The Alliance moving forward
Texas Launches ABLE Program
The ABLE National Resource Center, managed by National Disability Institute (NDI), is excited to congratulate the State of Texas on the launch of the Texas ABLE Program. The Texas ABLE Program is managed by NorthStar Financial Services Group, LLC and maintained by the Texas Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board, with assistance from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The Texas ABLE Program will only be available to eligible Texas residents with disabilities.
The Texas ABLE Program allows qualified individuals with disabilities to save up to $15,000 a year in an ABLE account without jeopardizing their eligibility for federally-funded means-tested benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. The funds in the account can be used for disability-related expenses that assist the beneficiary in increasing and/or maintaining his or her health, independence or quality of life.
Millions of individuals with disabilities and their families are often relegated to a life of poverty as a result of not being allowed to build even the most modest levels of financial resources. Individuals receiving supports through Social Security, Medicaid and other publicly-funded programs are often disqualified from those supports if they have more than $2,000 worth of resources or assets. Now, with the launch of ABLE programs nationwide, individuals with disabilities and their families will be able to take a step to better secure their financial futures and to help offset the often significant financial challenges that can accompany living with a disability.
Like other ABLE programs across the country, the Texas ABLE program focuses its efforts to ensure minimal costs associated with establishing and maintaining an ABLE account. Additionally, Texas ABLE offers online account management; a gifting feature; and payroll deduction. There is no enrollment fee, and the program has a low minimum contribution limit.
For more information on the Texas ABLE Program, including how to enroll, please visit https://www.texasable.org/.
ABLE Advisor Profile: Meet Regina Bradley and Family
Regina and the Bradley Family opened their first Missouri ABLE account for their son Ayden’s sixth birthday and have encouraged family and friends to contribute to the account instead of giving gifts. As a retired military family, the Bradleys are also a blended family. They have two adult biological daughters and a pair of six-year-olds who were adopted from Ukraine in 2012. Both of their adopted children, Abby and Ayden, have Down syndrome. Abby has an ABLE Account just like her brother. Regina and her husband knew they wanted to adopt children with disabilities because other members of their family also have disabilities, including Regina’s aunt and brother. Regina dedicates her life to advocating, not only for her children but for all children with disabilities.
The Bradleys are saving so that both of her children will be able to live a comfortable life in their own homes someday. She hopes that the funds in their ABLE accounts will provide them with opportunities to travel, learn and take part in extracurricular activities as they grow older.
On May 10, the Bradleys were interviewed by their local news station.
The ABLE National Resource Center is proud to have Regina and her family as part of our 2018 ABLE Advisors.
Webinar Archive Available: Social Security’s Updated ABLE Guidance – A Deeper Dive
A recording of April’s webinar “Social Security’s Updated ABLE Guidance – A Deeper Dive” is now available.