July 5, 2017

Florida’s Savings Plan for Individuals with Disabilities Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Florida’s Savings Plan for Individuals with Disabilities Celebrates One Year Anniversary

ABLE United is waiving account fees for another year, encouraging Florida’s disability community to seek financial independence and opportunity.

Tallahassee, Fla. (June 20, 2017) – Since its official launch on July 1, 2016, ABLE United has provided more than 1,000 Floridians with disabilities a new way to save for a better life experience. Now, in celebration of the program’s successful first year, ABLE United announces that account fees will continue to be waived through July 1, 2018.

A product of successful advocacy, ABLE United was made possible because of the passing of the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which was signed into law nationally on December 19, 2014, and in Florida on May 21, 2015. The ABLE Act amended section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities.

ABLE United is Florida’s qualified ABLE program, which was established to encourage and assist people with disabilities to save private funds to support health, independence and quality of life. It allows individuals to save up to $14,000 annually without affecting benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid while the funds in the account grow tax-free. Funds can be used on qualified expenses covering a wide range of categories including housing, transportation, and basic living expenses.

“We’re pleased to see that ABLE United is allowing Floridians with disabilities to save like never before,” said Kevin Thompson, Executive Director of ABLE United. “For years, individuals receiving federal benefits were dramatically limited in the amount of money they could save, but now, they have an opportunity to truly invest in their financial future.”

ABLE United is different from other savings and investment options available for individuals with disabilities. Benefits include:

• The funds saved in the account generally will not affect government benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
• The ability to use funds from the account to pay for a wide variety of expenses tax-free.
• The account is owned by the individual with the disability, though an authorized person may establish and help oversee the account.
• Anyone can contribute to the account, allowing the individual to save with the help of family and friends.

“Children and families without a disability get to save for things like a first car and college – with ABLE United, now my son can, too,” said Bridget Hawk, whose 19-year-old son has cerebral palsy. “My son just started his first year at the University of North Florida and because of his ABLE United account, he can start saving money for his future.”

To be eligible to open an ABLE United account, the individual must meet the disability and severity requirements outlined by the Social Security Administration, have experienced the onset of blindness or the disability before age 26, and be a Florida resident.

For more information about ABLE United or to open an ABLE United account, please visit ableunited.com.

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ABOUT ABLE UNITED

The Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014, a federal law enacted in December 2014, authorizes each state to establish a program that offers tax-free savings and investment options to encourage individuals with a disability and their families to save private funds to support health, independence, and quality of life. ABLE United is the qualified ABLE program offered by the state of Florida. The program is administered by Florida ABLE, Inc., a direct-support organization of the Florida Prepaid College Board. The board, established in 1987, oversees more than $10 billion in collective investments in the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program and the Florida 529 Savings Program.