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Michigan joins forces with 18 states to assist people with disabilities

MiABLE account holders will be notified about significant changes and next steps in the coming weeks.
The Michigan Department of Treasury announced that the state has joined the National Achieving...
The Michigan Department of Treasury announced that the state has joined the National Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Alliance, a 19-member bipartisan state consortium that works to create the most cost-effective and user-friendly ABLE programs for people with disabilities.(WJRT)
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 11:06 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Monday the Michigan Department of Treasury announced that the state has joined the National Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) 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, Michigan’s ABLE savings and investment program (MiABLE) will be managed by Ascensus. Currently, MiABLE investment services are directed by TSA Consulting Group. The transition is slated to be compled by the end of 2021.

MiABLE account holders will be notified about significant 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 is comprised 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.

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

Distinctly unlike traditional savings accounts, MiABLE savings are not considered when applying for other federal or state benefits, such as Social Security Disability Income, Medicaid, and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. MiABLE accounts 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 can collect Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, yet they do not need to be receiving either of these benefits to qualify for a MiABLE account. Additionally, MiABLE 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 they are being 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. 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 like college savings programs. Before ABLE, individuals risked losing government disability benefits if they had assets that exceeded $2,000.

More information about MiABLE is available HERE.

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