August 13, 2018

Faces of ABLE: Ashley Smith

Faces of ABLE: Ashley Smith

Pat Smith first heard about ABLE United prior to the program officially launching in Florida, but needed a better understanding of how an account worked and how it could benefit her daughter, Ashley.

“We attended Family Café a few weeks before ABLE United launched, so I came prepared with my questions,” said Smith. “I attended a couple of break-out sessions, got my questions answered and as soon as the program was made available, I opened up Ashley’s account.”

Born with cerebral palsy, specialists told Smith that her newborn daughter wouldn’t live past the age of two. Now, 29, Ashley is a vibrant young woman who loves to read and make up stories of her own.

She is an active member of St. Lucie County Special Olympics where she participates in a variety of sporting events – equestrian and bowling being among her favorites. Ashley also attends The Arc of St. Lucie County Day program.

Specialists told Smith that her newborn daughter wouldn’t live past the age of two. Now, 29, Ashley is a vibrant young woman who loves to read and make up stories of her own.

Smith calls her daughter’s ABLE account a blessing and continues to add money to it — her own each month, and Ashley’s birthday and Christmas money. In addition, she was recently named as one of three winners from this year’s Family Café giveaway receiving a $150 contribution to her account.

Her account continues to grow tax-free and now with the hope that individuals on Medicaid, just like her, will not be subject to recovery of funds. Smith shared that it would be “a game changer for our family.”

The removal of Medicaid recovery from ABLE United accounts is in effect from July 2018 to June 2019. It will be a priority to introduce legislation in the 2019 session to make this a permanent change.