Ohio STABLE Disability Investment Account Program Expands
STABLE Mandel Account
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced Monday that STABLE accounts, which allow people with disabilities to invest money tax-free to pay for certain expenses, will be available to people living in others. States.
(Jackie Borchardt, cleveland.com)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new program that allows people with disabilities in Ohio and their families to open tax-efficient investment accounts will be available to families across the country.
As of June 1, Ohioans can open STABLE investment accounts, which allow participants to set aside up to $ 14,000 per year to pay for college, housing, and student expenses. handicap. Accounts are not included in determining certain federal benefits.
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, whose office administers the program, said Monday that Ohio was the first state to offer such a program, and about half of the 160 participants live in other states.
“Before that, if there was too much money in a bank account, they could actually lose their disability (benefits),” Mandel said at a press conference on Monday. “Now more and more people with special needs and disabilities may want to work in a variety of careers, this allows them to strive and have upward mobility and higher earning potential without losing their benefits. disability. “
People can sign up for accounts at stable.com account. A public service announcement featuring Ohio state football coach Urban Meyer began airing statewide on Monday.
Where does the program come from?
The federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) allowed states to offer tax-free investment accounts that would allow participants to save money without risking their Medicaid eligibility.
An Ohio law passed last year made the treasurer’s office responsible for administering the program, and the 2015 state budget allocated $ 2 million per year to implement it. The treasurer’s office has spent approximately $ 879,000 on the program so far.
How it works?
Participants can choose from five investment options ranging from conservative to growth oriented. Participants and their family members can contribute up to $ 14,000 per year to the accounts, which are limited to balances of $ 426,000.
The accounts are tax free, as long as the money withdrawn is spent on qualifying expenses. Ohio residents pay $ 2.50 per month to maintain their accounts, plus an asset-based fee of between 0.19 and 0.34 percent. Fees double for out-of-state participants.
Participants or an authorized guardian can transfer money from STABLE accounts to a personal bank account or a STABLE, loadable Mastercard debit card.
What are the benefits?
STABLE funds do not count as an asset in determining eligibility for benefit programs such as Medicaid.
Eligible expenses include preschool through college tuition, rent and mortgage payments, transportation costs, job-related training, health insurance premiums and more.
Matt Cox, whose 12-year-old son Ben has cerebral palsy, said the accounts would help pay for therapies beyond basic services, as well as his future needs.
“We want to make sure that Ben’s financial future is secure and that his two sisters can take care of him after we leave,” Cox said.