FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2023
Contact: Ron Leix, Treasury, 517-335-2167
Accounts Create Equality of Opportunity for Michiganders
with Disabilities and their Families
LANSING — With hundreds of thousands of Michiganders with disabilities eligible to open a MiABLE savings account, the Michigan Department of Treasury is marking the 8th anniversary of the signing into law of the MiABLE Act to encourage them and their families to discover more about gaining greater financial freedom.
Experts estimate that approximately 500,000 individuals in Michigan are eligible to open MiABLE accounts, but only about 1% of that number are currently enrolled statewide.
“We need to increase awareness of this important program,” said R. Scott de Varona, MiABLE program director. “When MiABLE was signed into law in October 2015, it opened the door to financial freedom for all Michiganders with disabilities yet eight years later we still have so far to go in showing how MiABLE can help bring people with disabilities the financial independence they deserve to fully share with their fellow citizens.”
While de Varona noted that “there is never a bad time to open a MiABLE account,” he called the anniversary an opportunity to remind people that MiABLE serves as an important financial equity tool for Michiganders.
For those who want to learn more about the benefits of MiABLE, de Varona recommended attending an upcoming webinar. The next one will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15. To register for this event, click here.
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 live in poverty, 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. 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.
A MiABLE account lets you make your own decisions about how to spend your money on qualified disability expenses (QDE), without getting permission from a special trust. QDEs are expenses to maintain or improve your health, independence or quality of life. Examples include health care costs, housing, education and transportation.
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.
For more information or to open a MiABLE account online, go to www.MiABLE.org.