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Courtesy of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

Achieving a Better Life Experience:


What’s up in Maryland and around the nation?

Maryland’s legislature passed a bill last April to create the “Maryland ABLE Program,” making it possible for individuals with disabilities to open accounts similar to college savings plans but to save for disability related expenses. The goal is to have the program operational by October 2017. For more background, check out this fact sheet from the MD Dept. of Disabilities.

As a refresher, here’s what the legislation required:

  • Maryland 529 (formerly College Savings Plans of Maryland) will develop and administer the Maryland ABLE Program.
  • To ensure that the disability community is involved with program development, a seat has been added to the Maryland 529 Board of Directors for the Secretary of the Dept of Disabilities (MDOD).
  • Local and State means-tested programs, as well as Federal means-tested programs, will not be able to consider ABLE funds when reviewing someone’s financial eligibility for those programs.
  • There will be a $2500 tax deduction for Maryland residents who contribute to a Maryland-administered ABLE account. Anyone can contribute.

What’s happened since?

  • Maryland 529, with support from the MDOD, is researching options for how to structure and administer the program in Maryland and expects to present recommendations at its Board in December.
  • Four states have opened their ABLE programs and two more are likely by the end of the year. Eligible Marylanders can open accounts in these states and later roll over their money to a Maryland ABLE account once available, if they wish.
  • Congress is a considering enhancements to the federal ABLE Act to reach more people and expand other features.

For more details on all of these issues, as well as an overview of ABLE accounts click here.  Two ways to stay informed on new developments: 1) Join MDOD’s ABLE email list to stay abreast of developments in Maryland.

2) Visit the ABLE National Resource Center to learn about other state’s ABLE Programs. Contact those programs for more information.

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