New law will ensure parents are informed about ABLE accounts

 

STATE HOUSE – A new law sponsored by Rep. Terri Cortvriend and Sen. Melissa A. Murray will ensure that parents of students with individualized education programs (IEPs) are provided information about tax-free investment accounts available to help fund support services for their student in adulthood.

The legislation (2024-H 7612, 2024-S 2741), which the sponsors introduced on behalf of General Treasurer James A. Diossa, was signed into law Wednesday following passage by the General Assembly June 4. It will require school districts to provide informational material about the achieving a better life experience (ABLE) account program at students’ annual IEP meeting, beginning with the 2024-2025 school year.

ABLE accounts are federally recognized investment accounts similar to 529 college savings programs for individuals with disabilities. Family members and loved ones can deposit money into the accounts to be invested on the individual’s behalf. When the child reaches adulthood, funds can be used to offset qualified expenses related to education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and personal support services, health prevention and wellness, financial management services and more. ABLE accounts do not qualify as assets for determining income eligibility for state or local assistance programs, such as Medicaid.

“Every parent wants their child to have a bright future, and to have their needs met throughout their lives. ABLE accounts are an excellent opportunity for parents to provide for their child’s future, and every family whose student might benefit from them should know about them. Providing that information each year at their IEP meeting is a way to ensure that they are aware of them, and are reminded periodically of how to open an ABLE account for their child’s future,” said Representative Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown).

Said Senator Murray (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield), “Living with a disability or caring for one with a disability can be really expensive. ABLE accounts permit individuals with disabilities to accrue savings to cover disability-related expenses without sacrificing their eligibility for other public benefits,” said Senator Murray.

Said Treasurer Diossa, “As General Treasurer, it is my duty to promote economic growth and financial security for all Rhode Islanders, including those with disabilities. Now more than ever, we have to get the word out there for all Rhode Islanders who qualify to take advantage of Rhode Island ABLE.”

For more information about ABLE accounts, visit savewithable.com.

 

 

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