Ohio’s STABLE Accounts up and running

Enrollment is now open for STABLE Accounts! Ohio is one of the first states to roll out their ABLE Accounts. To check to see if you are eligible and/or to open a STABLE Account , visit http://www.stableaccount.com or call 1-800-439-1653.

Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 155 into law in late July 2015. The bill authorized the Treasurer of State to set up and establish ABLE accounts in Ohio . You can read the law at https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-155.

With the creation of a STABLE Account, eligible participants are able to save money, invest money, and spend money on qualified expenses such as healthcare, education, housing and transportation. ABLE stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience. For the most part, the value of an ABLE account cannot be considered an asset or income for the purposes of determining eligibility for means-tested programs, such as Social Security or Medicaid.

Additionally, HB 358 allows for an income tax deduction for contributions to ABLE savings accounts.

To find out more about the STABLE Account, click here.

Meanwhile, in related ABLE news, federal lawmakers are looking to expand the eligibility and capabilities of ABLE accounts, a new type of savings account for people with disabilities. Currently, states are working to establish regulations and implement the new offering and ABLE accounts are expected to start becoming available sometime this year.

The ABLE law allows those with disabilities to save up to $100,000 without jeopardizing Social Security and other government benefits. Medicaid eligibility will not be affected by any level of funds in the accounts.

Three bills have been introduced this month in Congress that would expand upon the current law.
Here are the proposed additions:
1. People with disabilities who are employed would be able to allocate extra money each year to their ABLE account. Beyond the existing annual cap of $14,000, those who are working could also deposit their earnings in the account, up to the federal poverty level – currently $11,770 for a single person.

2. People with disabilities that occur by the age of 46 (an increase over the current requirement that conditions must exist prior to age 26) would be eligible to open an ABLE account.

3. Families would be allowed to rollover money they’ve saved for an individual with a disability in a 529 college savings plan to an ABLE account.

The bills known as the The ABLE to Work Act, The ABLE Financial Planning Act and The ABLE Age Adjustment Act are sponsored by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., in the Senate and Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., in addition to Sessions in the House of Representatives.