Kentucky State Treasury Newsroom
Hollenbach Leads Effort to Promote Savings Plan for People with Disabilities
Frankfort, KY (October , 2015 ) – Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach joined disability rights advocates today in the Capitol Rotunda to announce details of the enabling legislation for the Federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.
“According to research by the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of poverty for people with disabilities, was nearly triple the poverty rate of people without disabilities,” Treasurer Hollenbach said. “This program, housed in the State Treasury, would allow Kentuckians to set aside funds for future costs related to their disabilities just as the 529 education savings plan does for future college costs.”
Lynn Braker, the parent of a 3 year old son with down-syndrome, said she believes everyone should have the right and the opportunity for a safe and secure future, “but my son and thousands like him in Kentucky will never be able to sustain themselves on their own because of the current limitations on eligibility requirements for government benefits. The ABLE Act gives our family a fighting chance to build a better future for our son!”
The proposed legislation has been pre-filed for consideration in the 2016 legislative session by co-sponsors Senator Will Schroder (R-Wilder) and Representative Mike Denham (D-Maysville).
“28 States have enacted similar legislation and our bill will give Kentuckians with disabilities a chance for a better life and a better future,” Denham said. Schroder added, “I’m looking forward to working in a bipartisan manner and getting the support needed to ensure that this bill, which would help so many Kentucky families, becomes a reality next session.”
The bill would allow any individual who is receiving, deemed to be receiving, or treated as receiving supplemental security income benefits or disability benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act to set up an ABLE savings account. Also eligible are individuals who are blind or have a medically determined physical or mental impairment, which results in marked and severe functional limitations. An ABLE account cannot receive more than $14,000 a year and the total amount in the account cannot exceed the limits for 529 accounts. Qualified expenses paid for by the account are those related to the individuals disability and include items such as education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology, financial management , legal fees, funeral and burial expenses plus others.