MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The new and official Alabama Achieving a Better Life Savings Plan (Alabama ABLE) launched on Monday, May 17. The plan aims at helping those with disabilities gain financial independence.
“Alabama ABLE is a tax-advantaged account designed to help make saving simple and achievable for individuals with disabilities,” said Alabama State Treasurer John McMillan. “Account holders and their families may save for future expenses and gain financial independence while enhancing their quality of life.”
The new plan allows those with disabilities to save more than $2,000, which is generally the limit for those who rely on benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Those with an ABLE Account can save up to $100,000.
Anita Kelley, the Savings Division Director for the Alabama Treasury Office, says the plan gives those with disabilities more freedom than before.
“For so long, individuals with a disability have been kept to that $2,000 limit and not been able to save for the future,” said Kelly. “Also parents of an individual… their child that has a disability… they want to be able to save for that child just like they can their other children. So this is a great way for them to save.”
Kelley says anyone who developed a qualifying disability before the age of 26 is eligible for an ABLE account. She adds that the annual fee is minimal, at just $35 a year.
The money within the ABLE Savings Account can be used toward most costs related to living with a disability such as living expenses, education, housing, transportation, assistive technology, and more.
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.
Kelley says to sign up, just go to www.alabamaable.gov/. If you have any questions, you can call her directly at (334) 242-7515.
She also says if you’re a part of a disability, community, or church group and would like to learn and share information about the program, Kelley will be available to meet via Zoom.