For Immediate Release: April 13, 2022
Ashley Motley, Director of Strategic Communications
ICYMI: Bill to Help Kansans Living with a Disability Save for Their Future Makes a Big Impact – Here’s What They’re Saying
TOPEKA – Governor Kelly recently signed House Bill 2490 when it arrived on her desk. The bill makes important changes to the Kansas ABLE enrollment process and eligibility requirements. These changes bring the program into compliance with new federal regulations and prepares the state to adopt anticipated federal changes to eligibility. Prior to the changes in HB 2490, Kansans living with a disability would have had to establish a conservatorship or guardianship to take advantage of the ABLE program. This is an expensive and time-consuming process. Changes will allow parents, grandparents, and Representative Payees to now assist with this process and bring cost savings to Kansans living with disabilities who feel comfortable opening the account without additional legal structures.
ABLE savings accounts allow for Kansans to save more than $2,000.00 without losing needed SSI or Medicaid benefits. “ABLE accounts promote independence, help build self-reliance, encourage employment, and improve the quality of life of Kansans living with a disability by allowing an individual to save for expenses like medical care, housing, education, transportation, basic living expenses and more. I am very grateful for the bipartisan support of this bill,” said Treasurer Lynn Rogers.
“InterHab is thrilled to see HB 2490 signed into
law. ABLE accounts are essential and allow Kansans living with a disability the
opportunity to save for their future. This legislation ensures continued access
to ABLE accounts and opens the door to thousands of Kansans that will be able
to safeguard much needed financial security.”
Meghan Shreve, Director of Education and Communications, InterHab
“This bill addresses the enrollment barriers that
Kansans with disabilities and their families faced while trying to enroll in
the Kansas ABLE program. Individuals with disabilities who do not have a
guardian or conservator are now able to access the Kansas ABLE program with
assistance from parents, grandparents, and Representative Payees, like Arcare.
We are very grateful for the bipartisan support of HB 2490 and look forward to
a more accessible and increased use of the program in Kansas.”
Barb Helm, Executive Director, Arcare
“The State of Kansas continues to be on the
forefront of helping people with disabilities incorporate the ABLE account into
their lives. With the recent passage of HB 2490, it will ensure that our State
remains in compliance with federal regulations for years to come, while
allowing trusted caregivers to open an ABLE account on behalf of their loved
ones with disabilities. This will help Kansas families save money on legal
fees, while also allowing them to have more choices as to how they help their
loved ones navigate life, beyond only having the two choices of conservatorship
or guardianship. As a father of a daughter with Down syndrome, these are
important improvements and innovations that are much appreciated by my family
and will her to Achieve a Better Life Experience!”
Matt Syverson, CFP, CAP, Senior Wealth Advisor, Sound Stewardship
“Programs like the ABLE Savings Account are
vital to ensuring barriers don’t stand in the way of Kansans living with
disabilities. The program helps get Kansans the services needed to have
fulfilling, healthy lives without fear of losing other necessary assistance.”
Governor Laura Kelly
House Bill 2490 passed both chambers with bipartisan support.
More About ABLE:
Forty-five states and the District of Columbia offer ABLE savings programs, as authorized by the federal Stephen J. Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014. ABLE accounts are a tax-advantaged way for Americans with disabilities or blindness to save for disability-related expenses without risking their eligibility for public benefits. To qualify, an individual must have a disability or blindness that would qualify them for Social Security benefits (SSI or SSDI). The disability must have onset before the age of 26. Proposed legislation at the federal level would increase the qualifying age to 46. The federal ABLE Age Adjustment Act is currently pending in Congress and has received widespread bipartisan support. It would raise the disability onset requirement from age 26 to age 46, making the program more accessible to those who acquire a disability later in life. This is particularly beneficial to disabled veterans, and will expand eligibility by approximately 6 million nationwide.