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Michigan savings program for people with disabilities joins national collaboration

calculator and financial paperwork
Dave Dugdale via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0

Under the law, people who receive disability benefits have been limited to $2,000 in savings. Any more and they could be kicked off the program. But under the MIABLE program, they can save $100,000 before losing benefits.

Now, program director Scott Devarona says the state will have the staff to be able to plan ahead and maintain the program.

Currently, right now, the Michigan Department of Treasury has a grand total of one person assigned to the ABLE program, that’s me. It’s great to have partners throughout the United States to help us facilitate and to make the changes that are needed occasionally with a program of this size.

Devarona says he’s also optimistic about a proposal in congress to expand eligibility for the ABLE program from people who were disabled before age 26 to those disabled before age 46. He says that could double Michigan’s eligible population. Something he said would be a good move.

"For far too long, we’ve told individuals with disabilities, stay broke. Don’t save. In fact we’re going to punish you for saving. Now for the first time, individuals with disabilities have a product that they can use, strictly just for them, so that they can plan and save for their disability-related expenses."