After the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was passed, it was important to me to be part of the force empowering individuals with disabilities to have opportunities for financial independence. In 2017, I created Iowa’s ABLE plan, IAble, as a way to accomplish this mission. In an effort to spread awareness of the benefits of ABLE plans and continue empowering individuals with disabilities, we’re joining ABLE plans across the nation to celebrate ABLE to Save Month.
IAble is celebrating this year by teaming up with the Iowa Developmental Disabilities (DD) Council to present a webinar on IAble. The August 18 webinar engages two IAble account owners and one family member who share their experience of saving with IAble. IAble provides information on eligibility, how to open an account, tax benefits and more! If you miss the webinar, stay tuned to my YouTube channel, Michael Fitzgerald, IA Treasurer, for a recording.
ABLE to Save Month is a nationally recognized campaign that is designed to educate individuals with disabilities, their families and other members of the public, about the positive impact ABLE accounts could have on the millions of lives of Americans who experience disability or blindness. The funds in an ABLE account do not negatively impact the account owner’s eligibility for public benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Instead, the funds saved supplement them.
Individuals with disabilities previously have not been able to save over the $2,000 resource limit without risking the loss of those public benefits, which are essential to them. With plans like IAble, choosing between saving towards their dreams and keeping their benefits is not something individuals with disabilities have to worry about. Instead, they can team up with their loved ones and contribute towards an IAble account to pay for qualified disability-related expenses such as housing, food, monthly bus passes, adaptive wheelchairs, hearing aids and more.*
Speaking of loved ones, any Iowa taxpayer who contributes towards an IAble account, including the account owner, family and friends, can deduct up to $3,439 from their state income taxes in 2020 based on their contributions.**
About the Author: Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald is the administrator of Iowa’s ABLE Savings Plan Trust and IAble. Since Fitzgerald started IAble in 2017, the plan has grown to hold over $6 million in assets and an average account size of $7,223 between 840 accounts.
*Federal Contribution Limit is $15,000 per year. Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as applicable state and local income taxes.
** If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income. Adjusted annually for inflation.