NY's New ABLE Program Allows PWDs to Save up to $14k/yr without Effecting SSI/SSD/Medicaid!

NYAPRS Note: The following comes thanks to Columbia’s Oscar Solomon who writes “New York State has established an ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) program to allow individuals with significant psychiatric disabilities - who became disabled before the age of 26 – to save up to $14,000 per year and up to $100,000 in total, without affecting their eligibility for means-tested benefits such as SSI, SSDI, or Medicaid.” Please pass the word about this important opportunity for people in recovery to improve their financial security. Anyone interested in learning more about the NY ABLE program, you can find more information on the program website: https://www.mynyable.org/home.html

New York Lauches ABLE Program for In-State Residents 
August 10, 2017

The ABLE National Resource Center, managed by National Disability Institute (NDI), is excited to congratulate the State of New York on becoming the 27thstate to launch an ABLE program. The New York ABLE Program, namedNY ABLE, is administered by the Office of the New York State Comptroller, managed by Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc. and backed by Vanguard, Sallie Mae and Fifth Third Bank. NY ABLE accounts are available to eligible New York residents with disabilities.

NY ABLE allows qualified individuals with disabilities to save up to $14,000 a year in an ABLE account without jeopardizing their eligibility for federally-funded means tested benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. The funds in the account can be used for disability-related expenses that assist the beneficiary in increasing and/or maintaining his or her health, independence or quality of life. The maximum account limit for a NY ABLE account is $100,000.

Millions of individuals with disabilities and their families are often relegated to a life of poverty as a result of not being allowed to build even the most modest levels of resources. Individuals receiving supports through Social Security, Medicaid and other publicly-funded programs are often disqualified from those supports if they have more than $2,000 worth of resources or assets. Now, with the launch of ABLE programs nationwide, individuals with disabilities and their families will be able to take a step to better secure their financial futures and to help offset the often significant financial challenges that can accompany living with a disability.

Like the other ABLE programs across the country, the NY ABLE program focuses efforts to ensure minimal costs associated with establishing and maintaining an ABLE account (which can be done online). There is a $45 annual fee payable at $11.25 quarterly. If paper statements are selected, the fee increases to $13.75 per quarter ($55 annually). The NY ABLE program has a monthly maintenance fee of $2, which can be waived if the average daily balance is over $250 or by electing electronic statements at Fifth Third Bank. The annual investment fee is 0.40%.

In addition to NY ABLE, there are 26 other states that have launched ABLE programs: Alabama, Alaska, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia. Most of these ABLE programs are open to eligible individuals nationwide. Please seewww.ablenrc.orgfor details about these programs.

For more information on the NY ABLE program and how to enroll, please visitwww.mynyable.org.

For more information about ABLE programs across the country, please visit the ABLE National Resource Center at: http://ablenrc.org/