Louisiana Launches ABLE Program
The ABLE National Resource Center, managed by National Disability Institute (NDI), is excited to congratulate the State of Louisiana on becoming the 23rd state to launch an ABLE program. The Louisiana ABLE program, named LA ABLE, will be managed by the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LAOFSA) and the Louisiana Tuition Trust Authority (LATTA). Louisiana ABLE Accounts will only be available to eligible Louisiana residents with disabilities.
LA ABLE allows qualified individuals with disabilities to save up to $14,000 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 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 LA ABLE program focuses efforts to ensure minimal costs associated with establishing and maintaining an ABLE account (which can be done online). The LA ABLE program has an initial minimum contribution requirement of $10 but no annual set fees to manage the account and no investment fees. There are, however, restrictions on withdrawals and disbursements. LA ABLE account holders may only make two withdrawals per month and the disbursements must be $200 or greater.
In addition to LA ABLE, there are 22 other states that have launched ABLE programs: Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, 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 LA ABLE program and how to enroll, please visit www.able.osfa.la.gov.