Program lets people with disabilities save money without jeopardizing benefits

In Michigan and nationwide, [a] $2,000 federal asset limit is imposed on people with disabilities who receive government benefits. Miller, a family support services program manager at Disability Advocates of Kent County, said the asset limit is a major concern for many families with disabled loved ones.

But under a little-used disability savings program, Michigan families with disabilities actually are able to save money without losing benefits.

Michigan passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) act in 2014 to help relieve the financial burden that families with disabilities face. However, according to MiABLE program director R. Scott de Varona, not enough Michiganders are utilizing the program.

The goal of the MiABLE “I Will Never Lose” campaign is to reach out to disabled individuals and their families who haven’t yet taken advantage of the program.

“Unfortunately, the reality is that people with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty compared with their working age peers, and they are less likely to be employed,” Sen. Winnie Brinks said at the news conference.

“Too often that means they and their families face tough times, through no fault of their own, simply because they have fewer opportunities to earn a decent income, or save for a secure future.”

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