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State Comptroller Touts Savings Plan For Disabled New Yorkers

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has taken the wraps off a new savings plan for disabled people that allows them to save money without affecting their eligibility for benefits.

DiNapoli said in Albany Thursday the NY ABLE program, modeled after the 529 College Savings Program, allows disabled people to save up to $100,000 without risking losing benefits like Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid. The new accounts can be opened with a minimum of $25.   "Contributions can be made by eligible individuals, family members or friends. Contributions are not tax deductible. The Annual contribution limit is capped at $14,000. The maximum account balance is $100,000. The account is owned by the individual with the disability."

The Democrat says earnings and distributions from NY ABLE accounts are tax-free, provided the money is used for qualified disability expenses like education, transportation or housing.

State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther of the 100th district sponsored the ABLE act, which she says takes a burden off parents' shoulders who have struggled to plan for their disabled kids' futures.   "Prior to the ABLE account, the only way to ensure that their children were financially secure would have been to go through the expensive process of setting up a trust. Not only will money be in the ABLE account, and will not affect any services that the children or the adults already have, but it will grow."

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara is a Democrat from the 111th district:   "As an advocate for people with disabilities and as a father of a son with autism, I know that the long-term cost for care can be quite significant. A countless number of families just in my local area, still struggle to provide for their loved ones. That's why it was so important to pass legislation in the State assembly that established the New York Achieving a Better Life Experience, better known as the New York ABLE program."

DiNapoli sees ABLE as a counterweight to some of the rhetoric coming out of Washington.   "There's so much anxiety because of the uncertainty at the federal level, especially for those who depend on support from government. This is a counterpiece of good news, to hopefully allay fears and concerns and provide another option for families to save for individuals, to save for themselves in a way that provides advantages that haven't existed before."

  • To set up an account CLICK HERE or call 855-5NY-ABLE (855-569-2253).  You may also click here to obtain the Disclosure Booklet and Participation Agreement, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information. Read and consider them carefully before investing.
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