In eight months, assets for savings plan for disability expenses grow exponentially
Little Rock, Ark. (Sept. 8, 2021) – Assets for the Arkansas Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Plan have jumped 70% since January, reaching a milestone of $2.5 million, Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan announced today.
The Arkansas ABLE Plan, which Milligan’s office administers, offers individuals with disabilities an affordable way to save for disability-related expenses on a tax-deferred basis, without affecting their eligibility for income-based benefits.
“Shortly after I took office in 2015, I worked with Rep. Julie Mayberry to create the ABLE program as a savings tool for people with disabilities,” Milligan said. “Since we built and launched the plan in October of 2018, we’ve seen tremendous growth, which just affirms the need for this type of plan in Arkansas.”
Individuals can use an Arkansas ABLE account for expenses such as education, housing, transportation, legal fees, assistive technology, employment training and so much more.
Not only has Milligan grown the program substantially, but he has worked with the legislature over the years to provide several benefits for Arkansans in order to make the program more attractive. Those include:
- Creating an individual state tax deduction of $5,000 for people who contribute to an Arkansas ABLE Plan
- Allowing an individual who is able to put in more than the $5,000 yearly maximum to carry forward the tax deduction over the upcoming four years
- Providing protection for beneficiaries of ABLE account holders that prohibits entities from seeking payment from an ABLE account upon the beneficiary’s death
- Allowing accounts to be transferred to an estate or another eligible individual upon the beneficiary’s death
- Allowing payroll deductions for state employees to contribute to an Arkansas ABLE account
“Living with a disability is a life-altering challenge like no other. It’s made more complicated when you add in the financial ramifications, especially when determining eligibility for means-tested benefits such as Medicaid, SSDI, SNAP or TANF,” Milligan said. “Not being able to save more than $2,000 is a financial burden.” (Milligan is referring to Social Security Disability Insurance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.)
“Our hope with the Arkansas ABLE Plan is that we can empower families of people with disabilities to live more fulfilling and rewarding lives,” Milligan said.
For more information about the Arkansas Achieving a Better Life Experience Plan, people may visit https://savewithable.com/ar/home.html or call (501) 682-1406.
Dennis Milligan was elected Treasurer of State in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. The State Treasury is responsible for overseeing the state’s $5 billion portfolio. Since taking office in 2015, Milligan has receipted the state more than $420 million in investment returns and has grown the investment portfolio’s receipts to record highs. www.artreasury.gov.