Consumer Advocate: RI unveils new savings plan for individuals with disabilities


    With an ABLE account, Rhode Islanders can save up to $100,000 without jeopardizing their disability benefits. (WJAR)

    It's always been difficult for individuals with disabilities to save money.

    If they save too much, they risk losing federal benefits.

    That changes with Rhode Island’s new ABLE savings program.

    “If Rhode Islanders with disabilities had more than $2,000 in assets -- $2,000 in their bank account or what have you -- then their federal benefits could be frozen,” said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner.

    That means no saving up for additional medical equipment, therapy, housing or education -- no safety net.

    “Some of the rules can really get in the way of people having a full and complete life,” said Elizabeth Roberts from the Rhode Island Department of Human Services. “The ABLE account allows them to work and save money, and stay eligible for some of the things that really enable them to work.”

    With an ABLE account, Rhode Islanders can save up to $100,000 without jeopardizing their disability benefits.

    There's also no federal capital gains tax on investment earnings -- meaning participants can save even more money for qualified disability expenses.

    “You want Rhode Islanders to be saving for emergencies, saving for major life expenses, and you want them to be able to do that without being at risk of having their benefits frozen,” said Magaziner.

    ABLE accounts will managed for Rhode Island and a dozen other states Warwick-based Ascensus.

    To learn more about ABLE or enroll, click here.

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