By Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague
August is ABLE to Save Month, and there is no better time to raise awareness about the life-changing impact ABLE accounts can make for people living with disabilities.
With costs rising on nearly everything we buy and ongoing economic challenges nationwide, Ohio families are feeling the squeeze. And, as many know all too well, disability-related expenses can pose additional financial strains.
However, in the Treasurer’s office, we have a powerful tool to help alleviate some of those financial pressures, unlock each person’s potential, and make our communities and economy stronger. Through STABLE Account – Ohio's ABLE program – the Treasurer’s office plays a key role in the effort to enhance financial independence and stability for people living with disabilities and their families.
Before STABLE accounts, people living with disabilities could only save $2,000 before losing means-tested benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These old rules discouraged saving and investing, and asset limits often kept individuals living in the financial margins.
STABLE accountholders can save up to $16,000 each year without jeopardizing federal assistance. If the accountholder is employed, they can save an additional $12,880 each year. Earnings on STABLE accounts grow tax-free, as long as funds are spent on qualified expenses, such as education, transportation, healthcare, assistive technology, personal support services, and many others.
For individuals living with disabilities and their families, a STABLE account can be life-changing as it provides a secure and sound way to manage funds and navigate various disability-related expenses. Additionally, for those wishing to enter the workforce, opening an account can help build the foundation for independence throughout adulthood. We’ve heard many stories of accountholders buying cars, paying rent, and even putting down payments on their first homes. This financial stability is powerful and can provide the peace of mind that comes with a plan for the future.
As the nation’s first and premier ABLE program, STABLE Account now serves nearly 30,000 accountholders. In the Buckeye State, we’ve seen how STABLE accounts improve financial stability, promote independence, and improve quality of life. There’s always more work to be done, but during ABLE to Save Month, we have plenty to celebrate.
We encourage you to share this information with anyone you know who could benefit from a STABLE account. Signing up for an 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.