This week, state officials have launched IAble — a new savings plan for Iowans who want to save for the care of a mentally or physically disabled family member.
State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says Iowa is partnering with 14 states to offer this program.
“Through our partnership, we were able to accomplish our goals to make this simple and easy and, especially the investment options, easy to understand,” Fitzgerald says. “We make it inexpensive. You can start an IAble plan for as little as $25.”
Fitzgerald says IAble gives Iowans concerned about the well-being of a loved one the opportunity save for future disability-related expenses.
“You can save for housing, transportation, assistive technology, education and much more,” Fitzgerald says. “Families can save up to $14,000 per year.”
However, there is an upper limit to each account of $100,000 in total contributions. Savers will get a tax break, similar to the “College Savings Iowa” accounts Fitzgerald’s office also manages. In addition, these IAble savings accounts won’t make the Iowan ineligible for Social Security Disability benefits or Medicaid.
“That’s a real important feature for families and people with disabilities,” Fitzgerald says.
Under current rules, a disabled American loses their Social Security Disability and Medicaid benefits if they have more than $2000 in savings. Fitzgerald officially unveiled the IAble program this week, but the website went live last week and five people found it and signed up.
“We know the need is there, but we wanted to make sure all the bells and whistles were working,” Fitzgerald says. “…When we say it’s smooth and easy, we want to make sure it is.”
IAble was developed based on tax breaks outlined in the federal “Achieving a Better Life Experience” or ABLE Act.