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Colorado Launches ABLE Program

 
August 25, 2017

The ABLE National Resource Center, managed by National Disability Institute (NDI), is excited to congratulate the State of Colorado on becoming the 28th state to launch an ABLE program. The Colorado ABLE Program, named Colorado ABLE, is administered by Colorado ABLE @ CollegeInvest, managed by Ascensus College Savings Recordkeeping Services, Inc. and backed by BlackRock, Schwab, Vanguard and Fifth Third Bank. Colorado ABLE accounts are available to eligible individuals with disabilities.

Colorado ABLE allows qualified individuals with disabilities to save up to $14,000 a year and up to $100,000 in total 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. The maximum account limit for a Colorado ABLE account is $400,000.

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 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 the other ABLE programs across the country, the Colorado ABLE program focuses efforts to ensure minimal costs associated with establishing and maintaining an ABLE account (which can be done online). There is a $45 annual fee payable at $11.25 quarterly. If paper statements are selected, the fee increases to $15 per quarter ($60 annually). The Colorado ABLE program has a monthly maintenance fee of $2, which can be waived if the average daily balance is over $250 or by electing electronic statements from Fifth Third Bank. The annual investment fee ranges from 0.34% to 0.37%.

In addition to Colorado ABLE, there are 27 other states that have launched ABLE programs: Alabama, Alaska, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia. Most of these ABLE programs are open to eligible individuals nationwide. Please see www.ablenrc.org for details about these programs.

For more information on the Colorado ABLE program and how to enroll, please visit www.coloradoable.org.