August is ABLE to Save Month, and Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague is using the occasion to tout the importance of STABLE accounts and highlight the program’s record-setting growth. ABLE to Save Month is a national campaign that shines a light on ABLE programs across the nation and how they enhance financial independence for people living with disabilities.
Since January 2019, Ohio’s iteration of an ABLE program, STABLE Account, has seen overall participation grow three-fold, with total enrollment nearing 30,000 active accounts.
“ABLE to Save Month is the perfect time to promote the financial empowerment and independence that STABLE accounts provide for people living with disabilities,” said Sprague. “These accounts are life-changing as they help individuals to save and invest money, while also staying in the workforce. We’re proud to continue the growth of STABLE Account and look forward to empowering more Ohio families.”
STABLE accounts are 529-like specialized savings and investment accounts for people living with disabilities. Accountholders can save up to $16,000 without losing federal assistance, and they can save an additional $12,880 each year if they’re employed. Earnings on STABLE accounts grow tax-free if they are spent on qualified expenses, which include housing, transportation, living expenses, healthcare, assistive technology, and more.
The STABLE Account program was launched in 2016 following passage of the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. Prior to the ABLE Act, individuals with disabilities could only save $2,000 before losing means-tested benefits, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Additionally, asset limits hindered opportunities to join the workforce. These regulations made it difficult for many people to work, save, and invest, creating barriers to financial independence.
In recent years, the Treasurer’s office has partnered with several private and public sector employers across Ohio to enable eligible employees to make recurring deposits into STABLE accounts directly from their paychecks.
Through STABLE Account, Ohioans living with disabilities can enjoy a higher quality of life and build a strong financial future. Signing up for a STABLE account takes about 20 minutes and can be done online from home. For more information about STABLE accounts and to sign up, visit www.stableaccount.com.