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Health

Missouri's Disabilities Cost-Saving Plan Helps People Save for Long-Term Needs, Treasurer Says

Eric Schmitt
Office of Treasurer website

Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt is spreading the word on the resources available through the MO ABLE program.

Schmitt, whose office oversees the initiative, was in Springfield Monday to announce a new coalition involving several southwest Missouri partners.

“The purpose of this coalition is to help us host events, to get the word out, to distribute material, to help identify eligible families and to get people signed up,” Schmitt said.

MO ABLE allows people with disabilities to earn tax deductions for contributions to savings accounts.

Earnings on savings are tax-deferred and tax-free when used to pay for qualified costs related to a disability, including basic living expenses or for assistive technology.

Local partners include Arc of the Ozarks, the Southwest Center for Independent Living, Christian County Links and Abilities First.

“Our strategic initiative was all about developing these partnerships because the organizations that are here today and across the state – they know who the families area. And for us to sort of be a conduit and help them get the information and get the word out is at the heart of our mission.”

The ABLE plan became possible at the state level following the 2014 passage of the federal ABLE Act.  Most states with the program require an annual fee, according to an analysis by Time Magazine. Missouri’s is $42.

ABLE accounts can be created with as little as $50, and participants can deposit up to $14,000 into it each year. The program says balances and distributions do not affect federal needs-based financial aid such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income.

Schmitt calls the service “an incredible way” for disabled people or families with a loved with a disability to save for their long-term needs.

He says Missouri is doing as better or as well as any state that has this service. Over 20 states have ABLE programs.  

Schmitt adds that costs associated with disability needs can be expensive, and “Empowering individuals to save and strengthening families is really what this program is all about.”

Learn more about MO ABLE here.    

KSMU's Rachael Cohoon contributed to this report.