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Enriching our mission: A powerful new savings program

In December 2014, the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was enacted into law. A long-awaited event of major importance to individuals with disabilities and their families and supporters, the ABLE Act allows for the creation of tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities without adverse impact on federal means-tested benefits. Similar in design to Section 529 college savings programs, ABLE accounts will serve as a means to save for a broad array of qualified disability expenses related  to education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and related services, personal support services, health, and basic living expenses.

As manager of the Massachusetts 529 college savings plan, MEFA has been given the responsibility and privilege to serve as the state sponsor of the ABLE account program for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. While the ABLE program will widen our mission, it aligns perfectly with our ever-present goal to support the independence, growth, and success of Massachusetts residents.

The ABLE program will serve as a significant opportunity for individuals with disabilities, as account balances will grow free from federal and state tax. Account balances of up to $100,000 will be disregarded in determining eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, and the entire account balance will be disregarded for purposes of eligibility for Medicaid and other federal means-tested programs. The Commonwealth’s ABLE program will offer various investment options, and allow for online enrollment and management.

We are working hard to develop the Commonwealth’s ABLE program, with hopes of a launch in early 2017, and would love to keep you informed of our progress. Please visit our sign-up page to provide us your contact information so that we may email you with important updates. Please return often to our dedicated ABLE webpage, where we’ll post key dates, program specifics, and enrollment information. We look forward to sharing our progress as we develop this important initiative for the citizens of Massachusetts.

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