The launch of the MO ABLE program brings relief to Columbia families

11 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Wednesday, May 10 2017 May 10, 2017 Wednesday, May 10, 2017 4:23:00 PM CDT May 10, 2017 in News
By: Justice Henderson, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Families in Missouri have started setting up MO ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts, and others are getting their documents together to open their account.

Two Columbia mothers who are working with Rep. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, and Rep. Chuck Bayse, R-Rocheport, agree that the program is best for their families.

MO ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. 

The MO ABLE plan will be one of the nation’s lowest cost and highest service ABLE plans.

Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt has a son with major disabilities, and he and his family relate to this program on personal level.

"For individuals with disabilities, it's really about financial empowerment and allowing them to reach their full potential, and for families it gives them a peace of mind," Schmitt said. 

Schmitt also mentioned that his son Steven having a disability keeps him and his wife up at night. He wants to be sure there is something in place for when he and his wife are no longer around. 

In order to qualify for the program, the person's disability must have occurred before the age of 26. The account can be opened by the person with the disability, a parent, a guardian, or someone with a power of attorney.

One mother who has a son with a disability, recently opened up an account for her son.

"Nathan works really hard in therapies, trying to learn the things that he needs to be independent. When he is an adult, I don't want the cost of independence to keep him from being independent," Schelp said.

Another mother, who has a son that has Partial Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum, meaning he was born without a portion of his brain, plans to sign up for the program soon.

"The idea of this account is really valuable to the quality of life, and for him to be able to live on his own down the road," Myers said.

Myers also explained she is really excited about how easy it is to sign up for the program and how it benefits people in the long run.

Before the MO ABLE account became available, those with disabilities were only able to have up to $2,000 in a savings account.

The program will now allow them to have up to $100,000 in their savings accounts.

Family members and friends are also able to deposit money in the MO ABLE accounts and use the deposits as a tax write off at the end of the year. 

 

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