COLUMBUS – August is ABLE to Save Month, and Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague is reminding Ohioans of the important ways STABLE accounts are improving lives and enhancing financial independence for people living with disabilities. ABLE to Save Month is a national campaign aimed at increasing awareness about ABLE accounts across the United States and encouraging the usage of these investment options.
“ABLE to Save Month is about more than just saving money – it’s a celebration of financial empowerment,” said Treasurer Sprague. “By removing barriers to saving and employment, STABLE accounts allow people with disabilities to more fully participate in their communities and the labor force. For individuals with disabilities and their families, the opportunity to save and invest for the future can be life-changing, and we’re proud to be the nation’s first and largest ABLE program.”
Since taking office in January 2019, Treasurer Sprague has more than doubled STABLE Account enrollment. Today, there are more than 24,000 active accounts and $250 million in account contributions have been made. Partnerships with the State of Ohio as well as several local governments and private employers now allow qualifying employees to make recurring direct deposits into STABLE accounts.
The STABLE Account program was launched in 2016 following the passage of the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. STABLE accounts are 529-like specialized savings and investment accounts for people with disabilities.
Previously, people living with disabilities could only save $2,000 before losing means-tested benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Disability-related expenses can pose a financial burden to many people and their families, and the old rules discouraged saving and investing. In addition, asset limits made joining the workforce more difficult, pushing them further into the financial margins.
Accountholders can save up to $15,000 each year without jeopardizing federal assistance programs. If the accountholder is employed, they can save an additional $12,760 each year. Earnings on STABLE accounts grow tax-free, as long as funds are spent on qualified expenses, such as housing, transportation, healthcare, assistive technology, living expenses, and many others. Through the STABLE Account program, people with disabilities are now more easily able to join the workforce and save what they earn.
Signing up for a STABLE account is easy – it only takes about 20 minutes and can be done from the safety and comfort of home. For more information about STABLE accounts and to sign up, visit www.stableaccount.com