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ABLE Update: States Thinking Creatively about How to Best Develop Programs

April 28, 2016
Source: National Disability Institute (NDI)

As the potential benefits of ABLE become increasingly recognized, states continue to pass enabling state legislation. To date, over 40 states have passed ABLE-related legislation allowing them to move forward with the development and design of their programs. It is important to note that, while an overwhelming number of states have passed ABLE legislation, the funds dedicated by each state to develop the programs vary greatly state by state.

Recognizing the financial challenges associated with developing a state run program and taking into consideration the necessity of keeping these accounts as financially accessible to individuals with disabilities and their families as possible, states have had to think creatively about different ways to implement their state ABLE legislation.

One such solution that is being pursued is the “ABLE consortium” concept. So far, nine states, including Alaska, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, have elected to band together in an effort to provide their residents with access to ABLE accounts in a cost-effective manner. The participating states are hopeful that by combining resources, they will be better positioned to solicit and obtain a wider range of investment options for their beneficiaries, more effectively market their program(s) and be more innovative in terms of supports to ABLE beneficiaries and their families, while keeping end costs to a minimum.

It is exciting to see states thinking creatively on how to best develop their programs in cost effective ways for individuals with disabilities and their families. We remain optimistic that the first ABLE program will be up and running in the next couple of months. In order to prepare, we encourage you to watch the “Becoming ABLE Ready” video

For the most up-to-date information concerning ABLE accounts and programs, please visit the ABLE National Resource Center.

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