Alabama State Treasurer John McMillan announced today the new and official Alabama Achieving a Better Life Savings Plan (Alabama ABLE).
“Alabama ABLE is a tax-advantaged account designed to help make saving simple and achievable for individuals with disabilities,” said Treasurer McMillan. “Account holders and their families may save for future expenses and gain financial independence while enhancing their quality of life.”
ABLE covers a variety of disability-related expenses, from medical costs to education, assistive technology, service animals, housing, transportation, basic living expenses and more. You can explore the full list of qualifying expenses at www.alabamaable.gov/eligible-expense-examples.
Kathleen Baxter, whose son is an Alabama ABLE account owner explained, “I have an adult son with a spinal cord injury. Although he is very independent right now, I want to make sure we prepare for the future. The one thing I want to make sure he never has to do without is good medical care. This account not only allows for an investment in his future but gives me peace of mind that if something were to happen to me, he has the resources needed for his medical care.”
Many individuals with disabilities rely on resource-based benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income, which can require families to limit their savings to remain eligible. ABLE accounts empower families to save without having to worry about losing these benefits.
“An ABLE account is different from a basic checking/savings account because it allows an Alabamian with a disability to save and protect financial resources without jeopardizing the individual’s access to important public benefits they need to live life independently,” said James Tucker, Director of Alabama Disability Advocacy Program. “Alabama ABLE Savings Plan helps protect individuals’ independence in a very real way.”
The Alabama ABLE staff is collaborating with many local organizations to bolster the plan’s benefits and reach those in the disability community who may not be aware of the new program.
“Often this community faces predatory guidance from those seeking to exploit their limited financial resources,” explained the Director of Montgomery ARC (MARC), Paul Brown. “Having access to an ABLE savings account provides a sense of financial security and supports MARC’s mission to facilitate independence and self-determination for those we serve.”
For several years the State Treasurer’s Office has offered a similar ABLE program. However, the new program, Alabama ABLE Savings Plan, is the official and only ABLE program sponsored by and associated with the State of Alabama. The Alabama ABLE Savings Plan allows the Alabama Savings Board that oversees the program to pursue additional benefits for Alabamians.
Jack Knight, a member of the Alabama Savings Board said, “I’m excited about this new program in that it enhances the former program with lower annual fees.” He further explained, “I am proud of the manner in which the Savings Board has continued to help provide a ‘Better Life Experience’ for Alabamians with disabilities.”
For more information about the new Alabama ABLE Savings plan or to enroll, visit alabamaable.gov or call 334-242-7515.