Iowa Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald (file photo)

State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald says 273 Iowans who are intellectually or physically disabled have accounts in a relatively new state-run, tax-free savings program. A disabled person or a relative may contribute to an I-Able account.

“This is a way for a family or an individual that’s disabled can save or have money put away for them up to $100,000, but they can use it for, as the name implies, Achieving a Better Life Experience,” Fitzgerald says.

The money may be used a variety of things, like a specially-equipped vehicle or job training.

“They can put up to $14,000 each year to the account,” Fitzgerald says, “…but they can’t go over $100,000.”

Many plan for the money to help a disabled adult son or daughter find somewhere to live after their parents pass away. Fitzgerald says nearly $1.4 million has been invested in the program since it was established in early 2017 and a quarter of a million has been withdrawn.

A disabled American usually loses their Social Security Disability and Medicaid benefits if they have more than $2000 in savings, but the I-Able program meets federal guidelines so that doesn’t happen. Iowa is among more than a dozen states with this kind of a savings program.

Fitzgerald says I-Able gives those concerned about the well-being of a loved one the opportunity save for future disability-related expenses.