ABLEnow accounts helping people with disabilities save money

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Posted at 7:58 AM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 08:16:07-04

NORFOLK, VA. - It's not always easy for people with disabilities to save money.

If they do, it can prevent them from being eligible for certain benefits.

A program called ABLEnow changes that, though.

It was created about five years ago thanks to new legislation.

As part of National Disability Employment Awareness month, ABLEnow is trying to spread the word about the savings program.

It's run by Virginia 529, though it's open for people in any state.

Earnings from ABLEnow accounts grow tax free, and some states, including Virginia, offer tax deductions for making contributions.

One of the other big benefits - it doesn't prevent people from getting most disability benefits, including Medicaid.

Virginia 529 CEO Mary Morris says while the money does need to be used for qualifying expenses, there are a lot of options.

"It's not just medical expenses," said Morris, "It can be transportation. It can be housing. It can be really anything that enhances your quality of life."

Family and friends can also gift money into an account to keep from endangering someone's eligibility for disability benefits.

There are some limitations.

The person with the account must have developed the disability before the age of 26.

Morris says they're working with Congress to try to raise that age limit.

People who are qualified can open an account online with just $25.

Click here to learn more.