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Just 10 Days Left for People with Disabilities and Their Families to get Match for Opening New MiABLE Account
August 21, 2023
As the end of August approaches, just 10 days remain for people with disabilities and their families to take advantage of a limited-time bonus of up to a $100 match by being among the first 200 people to open an eligible MiABLE disability savings account.
The first 200 people to enroll during August will each receive up to a $100 match and there is still time to earn the bonus.
“We are doubling down on our statewide campaign to encourage more Michiganders with disabilities to open a MiABLE account,” said R. Scott de Varona, MiABLE program director. “We’re also doubling the match incentive this year. MiABLE is a great program and we need to broaden awareness so that everyone out there knows it is available to them.”
Approximately 500,000 individuals in Michigan are eligible to open MiABLE accounts, but only about 1% of that number are currently enrolled statewide, de Varona said.
Established in Michigan in 2015, MiABLE is a disability savings program administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury. It stands for Michigan Achieving a Better Life Experience and was designed to help ease the financial burden challenging families and people with disabilities. MiABLE accounts help people with disabilities save for current and future expenses without jeopardizing government assistance like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
In Michigan and nationally, a $2,000 federal asset limit is imposed on people with disabilities who receive government benefits. Compared with their peers, people with disabilities are twice as likely to have incomes below the federal poverty threshold, less likely to be employed and more likely to be underemployed.
MiABLE allows individuals who became disabled before age 26 and their families to save up to $17,000 annually in various investment options, de Varona said.
“Opening a MiABLE account brings people with disabilities closer to the equality of opportunity to save, invest and spend that is enjoyed by everyone else,” de Varona said. “MiABLE helps bring financial fairness to those who need it most.”
A MiABLE account allows individuals with disabilities to make their own decisions about how to spend their money on qualified disability expenses (QDE), without getting permission from a special trust. QDEs are expenses to maintain or improve one’s health, independence or quality of life. Examples include health care costs, housing, education and transportation.
Take, for example, Detroit resident Edward Lofton, who has autism. Thanks to MiABLE, Edward has been able to save money earned from his part-time job at Ford Motor Co. to buy a car and has plans to purchase a home.
Like other individuals with disabilities, Lofton once was allowed only $2,000 to his name. If he saved more, he faced cuts in critical government benefits such as Medicaid and SSI.
With MiABLE, Lofton and anyone with a qualifying disability that began before age 26 and their families can contribute up to $17,000 a year to a MiABLE account. On top of that limit, beneficiaries who are employed can contribute an amount equal to their current-year gross income, up to another $13,590.
Setting up a MiABLE account is quick and easy, generally taking about 15 minutes, de Varona said.
MiABLE also allows family members, guardians, powers of attorney and others to open and manage an account on behalf of a person with a disability. Earnings on MiABLE savings grow tax-free, and no federal or state tax is owed on withdrawals used to pay for qualified disability expenses.