June 2018 AchievABLE Newsletter

The June 2018 issue of our AchievABLE Newsletter contains stories on the following:

New Webinar Open for Registration: Advantages of ABLE for Those Not Receiving Public Benefits

Many people mistakenly believe that ABLE accounts only provide a benefit to those individuals with disabilities that are enrolled in programs that have asset tests or resource limits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Medicaid. This is simply not true.

While ABLE accounts do help eligible individuals with disabilities save for their futures without jeopardizing their public benefits, it is not required that you be receiving public benefits in order to be an ABLE account owner. Additionally, there are significant financial advantages of being an ABLE account owner, that can often outweigh other types of long-term savings tools, regardless of whether or not you are on public benefits.

The purpose of this webinar is to focus on the advantages of being an ABLE account owner for individuals with disabilities who are not receiving public benefits. Topics will include:

  • Eligibility Requirements for People with Disabilities Not Receiving SSI or SSDI
  • Understanding ABLE-Related Tax Benefits (including tax-free growth and state income tax deductions)
  • Medicaid Payback Provision (DOES NOT APPLY TO THOSE NOT ON MEDICAID)
  • Profiles and Scenarios
  • ABLE Account Testimonial

Oklahoma Launches ABLE Program for In-State Residents

The ABLE National Resource Center, managed by National Disability Institute (NDI), is excited to congratulate the State of Oklahoma on being the most recent state to launch an ABLE program. The Oklahoma ABLE program, named “Oklahoma STABLE”, will be administered through a partnership with Ohio STABLE Accounts, which are backed by Intuition ABLE Solutions, LLC, and will be managed by Vanguard Group, Inc. and Fifth Third Bank. Oklahoma STABLE Accounts will only be available to eligible Oklahoma residents with disabilities.

Oklahoma STABLE 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 Oklahoma STBLAE program focuses its efforts to ensure minimal costs associated with establishing and maintaining an ABLE account (which can be completed online). The Oklahoma STABLE program has an annual account fee of $42, charged on a monthly basis of $3.50. Fees associated with investment options range from 0.19% – 0.33%.

For more information on the Oklahoma STABLE program and how to enroll, please visit https://okstable.org/.

ABLE Advisor Profile: Meet Rachel Mast

Rachel Mast sitting and reading a letter from her congressman and a photo of her 2018 graduation card asking for gifts to her ABLE account. Rachel Mast, who just turned 19, played a pivotal role in getting ABLE passed in Congress, traveling to Washington, D.C. to speak with her congressmen and senators. She was also the first person in Kansas to open an ABLE account, testifying before the Kansas Legislature about the importance of ABLE.

A May 2018 graduate of Olathe South High School, Rachel, who has Down syndrome, asked her friends and family to contribute to her Kansas ABLE account in lieu of graduation gifts. This fall Rachel will be a student at the Johnson County Community College Clear program. She hopes to attend the Missouri State University Bear POWER program, a two-year inclusive college program for individuals with intellectual disabilities, beginning in January 2019.

A savvy ABLE account owner, Rachel plans to use her ABLE funds to help accomplish her first step toward independence – assisting with the cost of college – and her dream of buying her pink house.

As an ABLE Advisor, Rachel is using her personality, her people skills and her ABLE story to inspire others to open an ABLE account to invest in themselves and live their dreams too.

The ABLE National Resource Center is proud to have Rachel as part of our 2018 ABLE Advisors.

Webinar Archive Available: ABLE Program Spotlight Series Featuring the National ABLE Alliance

A recording of May’s webinar “ABLE Program Spotlight Series Featuring the National ABLE Alliance” is now available.