TOPEKA – More Kansas living with a disability will soon be able to use an improved tool to earn and save money without losing critical benefits. The statutory change per HB 2490 went into effect on July 1. With this change, the State of Kansas Treasurer’s Office will implement requirements under the final federal regulations from 2020 for the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE).
HB 2490 removed conflicts between the Kansas ABLE statute and the 2020 federal regulations which will allow the state to operate the ABLE program consistent with the federal regulations.
The federal regulation that will now be implemented in Kansas expanded the group of people who can open and manage ABLE accounts for individuals who do not have the capacity to manage their own accounts. Prior to these new regulations, individuals who are not able to manage their own accounts could only open an ABLE account if a conservatorship or guardianship was set up.
“This will make ABLE easier to access and less expensive to set up for many families,” said Treasurer Lynn Rogers. “They have the ability to fundamentally change the quality of life for a Kansan living with a disability. New federal regulations now being implemented in Kansas add parents, siblings, grandparents, and Social Security representative payees to the list of individuals that may open an account on behalf of a Kansan living with a disability. The bipartisan work done to adopt the new federal regulations to Kansans with HB 2490 is a bright spot. We hope to see an exponential increase in the number of Kansans saving with ABLE.”
ABLE plans protect eligibility for other programs because individuals can only have $2,000 in “countable assets” to remain eligible for many means-tested benefits programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. This prevents many people from saving money above the $2,000 limit and rising out of poverty.
The Kansas ABLE program is administered by the Kansas State Treasurer’s Office.
The plans are designed to help pay for the account owner’s “Qualified Disability Expenses,” which include education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and related services, health, prevention and wellness, financial management and administrative services, legal fees, expenses for ABLE account oversight and monitoring, funeral and burial expenses, and basic living expenses.
To learn more, Kansans should visit KS.SaveWithABLE.com.
All investments carry a degree of risk. ABLE accounts are not insured by the Kansas State Treasurer’s Office or the State of Kansas. Principal deposited and the investment return are not guaranteed by the Kansas State Treasurer’s Office or the State of Kansas. ABLE checking accounts are FDIC-insured.
About the Kansas ABLE Savings Plan:
To be eligible for an ABLE account, an individual must have a disability or blindness of a type and severity that would qualify them for SSI, whether or not the individual is actually receiving SSI benefits. The person’s disability or blindness must have first onset before age 26. An individual may open their own ABLE account, or they may appoint someone to open an account for them.
Starting July 1, 2022, for an individual who is not able to manage their own account, an account may be opened and managed by the individual’s conservator or legal guardian, parent, sibling, grandparent, or Social Security representative payee (in that order of priority), beginning July 1, 2022.