Arkansas ABLE Plan helps people with disabilities strive toward financial independence
Aug. 1, 2022 (Little Rock, Ark.) – August marks the nationally-celebrated ABLE to Save Month where those involved in ABLE Savings Plans across the country highlight the value and importance these plans bring to people living with disabilities.
“The Arkansas ABLE plan – which stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience – offers individuals with disabilities and their families an affordable way to save for daily disability-related expenses on a tax-deferredbasis, without affecting their eligibility for income-based benefits,” said Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan, whose office administers the Arkansas ABLE Plan. “Simply put, ABLE assets are disregarded when determining eligibility for most federal programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicaid.”
Congress passed the ABLE Act in 2014 and Arkansas’s legislature followed suit in 2015. Milligan officially launched the Arkansas ABLE Plan in October 2018.
“Living with a disability is a life-altering challenge like no other, and it’s made more complicated when you add in the financial ramifications,” Milligan said. “Many public benefits are cut off once a person’s assets grow over a certain amount. Not being able to save more than $2,000 is an unnecessary hardship.”
ABLE plans help people with disabilities build financial wellness and plan for the future by empowering them to save and invest for expenses that come with having a disability, without losing access to federal means-tested benefits. Anyone can contribute to someone’s ABLE account, and earnings are tax-deferred. Moreover, withdrawals are tax-free as long as they’re used for qualified expenses related to the beneficiary’s disability.
“Individuals can use their Arkansas ABLE accounts for expenses related to education, housing, transportation, legal fees, assistive technology, employment training and so much more,” Milligan said.
In 2019, Milligan worked with the state legislature to pass legislation that offers families contributing to an Arkansas ABLE Plan a state tax deduction of up to $10,000.
“Arkansas ABLE recognizes the importance of saving for today and tomorrow,” Milligan said. “Having a role in helping Arkansans with disabilities take control of their financial future has been a highlight during my time as treasurer.”
In Arkansas, almost 700 families are using an ABLE account to help them save for and manage disability-related expenses, with an average account size of $4,000.
For more information or to open an Arkansas ABLE account, please visit https://savewithable.com/ar/home.html, or call the State Treasury at 501-682-1406. On social media, please look for the hashtag #ABLEtoSave to learn more about how ABLE plans help people nationwide.
Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan’s office administers the Arkansas ABLE program.