LOSFA promotes savings program for disabled Louisiana citizens
Contact Brittany Francis, Ph.D. Public Information and Communications Director (225) 219-3306 Office Tyana Daquano Public Information Officer (225) 342-5173 Office Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) August 2, 2021
LOSFA promotes savings program for disabled Louisiana citizensBaton Rouge – While many Americans can work and save their earnings every year, millions of individuals living with disabilities, who seek federal medical benefits, are limited to no more than $2,000 at a time. Due to those restrictions, many individuals feel bound in what they can accomplish. To promote financial security for persons with disabilities, the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) is participating in #ABLEtoSave, a social media campaign to raise awareness about 529A savings accounts in August to help those with disabilities improve their quality of life through financial stability. The agency will also share information from the ABLE National Resource Center on its @STARTSaving529 Twitter account. Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) in 2014, allowing disabled individuals to save and invest money without harming their ability to receive public benefits.
Louisiana’s Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (Louisiana ABLE 529A savings plan), modeled after 529 saving plans, allows families and individuals to save for disability related expenses such as education, housing, transportation, employment training and more. Currently, there are 626 active Louisiana ABLE 529A savings accounts. The program allows families to save money without worrying if the assets in the account will be counted when determining eligibility for federal and state benefits programs, such as Medicaid and Social Security. Account owners can personally save up to $16,000 per year. As long as the account balance does not meet or exceed $100,000, they will not be counted as assets when determining eligibility for Social Security Income (SSI). Louisiana ABLE 529A savings accounts are available to U.S. citizens and legal residents of Louisiana who developed their disability before age 26 and are eligible for social security disability income, social security income, or have a disability certification on file with the IRS. To read more about Louisiana ABLE and to open an account, visit https://www.able.osfa.la.gov/index.aspx.
“My son, Kane, has Autism so I personally know the stringent asset parameters of Social Security,” said Terri Underwood (pictured left with son, Kane Finley), director of LOSFA’s START Programs. “He has a Louisiana ABLE account which allows him to save for those things that make his life more enjoyable and easier to navigate.”