Sacramento – Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin and California State Treasurer John Chiang announced the roll out of CalABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Accounts. These special accounts, which were created by Assemblymember Irwin’s 2015 bill AB 449, are designed to help those with disability related expenses save for future expenses without losing access to critical benefits.
“Four years ago, I was approached by advocates in the disability community about the need for legislation that would help hundreds of thousands of disabled Californians and their families save money. The launch of the CalABLE program is a great achievement that will give people with disabilities a path to greater independence and dignity. I’m incredibly grateful to Treasurer John Chiang for helping to implement this crucial legislation,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks).
Previously, people with disabilities who received public benefits were restricted to saving only $2,000 per year. If they saved more, they risked losing benefits. With CalABLE, eligible individuals will be able to contribute $15,000 a year — up to a maximum of $529,000 into an ABLE account, while still maintaining such benefits as Medi-Cal and CalFresh. Those who wish to remain eligible for SSI can contribute the annual $15,000 up to $100,000 into an ABLE account without the funds counting as assets.
“Today, as we band together in a season in which so many celebrate life and our highest ideals, we are announcing the long overdue steps California is taking to help individuals with disabilities achieve a better life experience. CalABLE will empower people with disabilities to create their own safety net and build wealth because living with a disability should not equate to living life on the brink of poverty. As Californians, we care about our fellow human beings, and CalABLE is a statement of those values,” said California State Treasurer John Chiang.
The ABLE accounts that are being implemented will allow individuals and families to have the financial freedom they need to keep their families out of poverty.
Assembly Bill 449 passed through the legislature with bi-partisan support in 2015 and was signed by the governor in October of 2015.