Community Money

Michigan joins forces with 18 states to assist people with disabilities

Membership in National ABLE Alliance will strengthen state’s MiABLE savings program

 LANSING – The Michigan Department of Treasury recently announced that the state has joined the National ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Alliance, a 19-member bipartisan state consortium that works to create the most cost-effective and user-friendly ABLE programs for people with disabilities.

As part of its membership in the alliance, Michigan’s ABLE savings and investment program –

MiABLE – will be managed by Ascensus. MiABLE investment services are currently directed by TSA Consulting Group. The transition is slated for completion by the end of this year. MiABLE account holders will be notified about important changes and next steps in the coming weeks.

“MiABLE’s partnership with the National ABLE Alliance will help ensure individuals with disabilities in Michigan have access to the most comprehensive savings program with lifelong benefits,” said MiABLE Program Director Scott de Varona. “We thank our partners at TSA for helping us develop one of the first and best ABLE programs in the country, and we look forward to working with Ascensus to continue that tradition of service and excellence to our current and future account holders.”

Along with Michigan, the National ABLE Alliance consists of Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.

Michigan was one of the first states to launch an ABLE plan in November 2016. MiABLE, administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury, has more than $31.2 million in assets and more than 6,300 accounts.

Unlike traditional savings accounts, MiABLE savings are not considered when applying for other federal or state benefits, like Social Security Disability Income, Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. MiABLE accounts also allow for savings up to $100,000 without losing financial disability benefits.

Individuals are eligible to open and fund a MiABLE account if the onset of their disability occurred before age 26 and are entitled to collect Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income – though they do not need to be receiving either of these benefits to qualify for a MiABLE account. MiABLE also allows family members, guardians, powers of attorney and others to open and manage an account on behalf of a person with a disability.

Funds from a MiABLE account are not taxed if used for qualified disability expenses like education, housing, transportation, medical costs, employment training, assistive technology and personal support services, legal fee expenses for oversight and monitoring and end-of-life expenses. Michigan state income taxpayers can claim up to a $5,000 deduction for single filers and $10,000 for joint filers for MiABLE contributions.

The federal Stephen J. Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 authorized tax-advantaged investment accounts similar to college savings programs. Prior to ABLE, individuals risked losing government disability benefits if their assets exceeded $2,000.

More information about MiABLE is available at MiABLE.org or 844-656-7225.

 

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