Local officials launch system helping Hoosiers with disabilities

Posted by: Hannah Carlock  | Friday, August 11, 2017 11:57 am

STATEHOUSE (Aug. 11, 2017) – Area legislators joined Indiana Treasurer Kelly Mitchell at The Arc in Evansville today for the launch of a new health savings option for Hoosiers living with disabilities.

State Reps. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler), Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) and Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville) sponsored legislation in the 2016 legislative session establishing the ABLE Care Act in Indiana.

In 2013, the federal government enacted the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, allowing people with disabilities to set up tax-free savings accounts that do not impact their means-tested public assistance benefits.

Bacon said each state had to then enact their own ABLE laws in order to provide tax-free savings accounts for their residents.

“Over the past year, the state has been working to implement INvestABLE as a way to ease the financial strain faced by many Hoosiers living with disabilities,” Bacon said. “ABLE’s tax-free savings accounts can help cover qualified expenses like education, housing and transportation.”

According to McNamara, to qualify, individuals must have a significant disability before turning 26 years of age. Those meeting this criteria must receive Social Security benefits, or meet Social Security’s definition and criteria while also providing a letter of certification from a licensed physician.

“As many as 100,000 Hoosiers could be eligible for this program,” McNamara said. “ABLE accounts allow for family members, friends and others to contribute funds without worrying about affecting their loved ones eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other public benefits.”

“People with disabilities now have a way to save money and gain independence,” Sullivan said. “These accounts allow the account holder to control their money, promoting personal responsibility and choice. Before this law was enacted, a person living with disabilities was only allowed to have a maximum of $2,000 within a checking or savings account in order to keep their benefits. Now, Hoosiers can receive up to $14,000 each year from one or more persons until the cap of $100,000 is achieved.”

For more information about INvestABLE Indiana, visit in.savewithable.com.

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State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75,
which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.

A high-resolution photo of Bacon can be downloaded by clicking here

State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) represents House District 76,
which includes portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.

A high-resolution photo of McNamara can be downloaded by clicking here.

Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville) represents House District 78,

which includes portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.

A high-resolution photo of Sullivan can be downloaded by clicking here.