95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Thousands of Michigan residents could be missing out on a disability benefit

Public Domain

The MiABLE program allows people to invest and leverage the money they earn without risking benefits

“There are thousands of people who don’t know about this program who could use this program.”

Scott de Varona is the executive director of the MiABLE program and spends a lot of time traveling the state, explaining what it is.

“The program allows individuals with disabilities to save up to $18,000 a year without jeopardizing their eligibility for any of the benefits they need, like Medicaid or SSI, or any of the programs they need because of that disability.“

It’s similar to an education savings account but can be used over a lifetime. Experts estimate approximately 500-600,000 Michigan residents are eligible to open MiABLE accounts but only 1% are currently enrolled statewide. De Varona says many people are confused about a federal limit of $2000 in assets and fear they’ll lose their benefits if they take part.

“The disabled population has been told to stay broke. They’re so concerned about losing their eligibility for the programs that they need, and they know if they have too much money - if they save too much - they’ll be punished for that. This is the only population of people who’s been told to stay broke.”

The MiABLE program allows people to invest and leverage the money they earn without risking benefits.

”It’s been an uphill battle trying to convince people that yes, you now have the ability to save. You now have the ability to invest, and you can spend that money on whatever you need for your disability expenses.”

More information on MiABLE is available here: https://www.michigan.gov/setwithmet/mi-529/miable, along with a sign-up for a live webinar to be held July 17th.

Related Content