Treasurer Sprague Recognizes March as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
COLUMBUS – Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague recognizes National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March as an important effort to promote inclusion and opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
"Financial empowerment and independence are key to building stronger, more inclusive communities," said Treasurer Sprague. "By breaking down financial barriers to employment and allowing people to earn and save more money, STABLE account holders and their families can take better control of their finances. National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is a great opportunity to re-affirm our ongoing commitment to achieving inclusion, empowerment, and independence for all Ohioans."
The annual Developmental Disability Advocacy and Awareness Day took place this week and serves as an opportunity for community members and allies to advocate for policy issues impacting Ohioans with developmental disabilities.
Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the STABLE Account program had a banner year in 2020, including record days, weeks, and months for new enrollments. Since January 2019, Treasurer Sprague has more than doubled the size of the STABLE Account program, and today, there are more than 21,000 active accounts with over $203 million in total contributions.
Ohio's STABLE Account program was launched in 2016 following the passage of the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. STABLE accounts are 529-like specialized savings and investment accounts for people with disabilities.
Previously, people with disabilities could only save $2,000 before losing means-tested benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Disability-related expenses can pose a financial burden to many people and their families, and the old rules discouraged saving and investing. In addition, asset limits made joining the workforce more difficult, pushing them further into the financial margins.
Accountholders can save up to $15,000 each year without jeopardizing federal assistance programs. And if the accountholder is employed, they can save an additional $12,760 each year. Earnings on STABLE accounts grow tax-free, as long as funds are spent on qualified expenses, such as housing, transportation, healthcare, assistive technology, living expenses, and many others. Through the STABLE Account program, people with disabilities are now more easily able to join the workforce and save what they earn.
For more information, or to sign up for a STABLE account, visit www.stableaccount.com.
Robert Sprague became Ohio’s 49th Treasurer of State on January 14, 2019, bringing to the office his extensive experience working on financial matters in both the public and private sectors. Under Treasurer Sprague’s direction, the office manages the state’s $29 billion investment and $11 billion debt portfolios, collects and deposits all state revenues, and oversees custodial assets.