Avery’s Blog for 8/4/15…

Hi Everybody,

I wanted to let you know about something that the Maine Legislature will be considering next session (most likely in 2016): The ABLE Act. The ABLE Act would allow people with disabilities like you & me, to save some money in a new type of bank account and still keep our SSI or SSDI monthly check.

I have a Question for You:  If you were able to save some money for things you needed into a bank account and still keep your SSI or SSDI monthly check, how would that help you in your life?

Comment on the SUFU Blog & let everybody know. :)

Read on to find out a lot more about:

  1. What is the ABLE Act?
  2. How come the ABLE Act could be good for us?
  3. Who can I talk to about the ABLE Act?

What is the ABLE Act?

The ABLE Act gives people with disabilities like you and me, the opportunity to put money into a new type of bank account (called an ABLE account) and still be able to get your monthly SSI or SSDI check.

You would be able to put money, (up to $14,000 a year), into the ABLE account, as long as:

  1. You were born with your disability OR
  2. You have had your disability since before you were 26 years old

Now, I need to make something very clear: None of us are going to be receiving $14,000 checks in the mail, to put in the ABLE account. (We’d all be dancing in the streets if that happened, right?) :)

However,you would be able to put money you earned from a job or money you got as a gift from a family member, guardian, or friend into the account. These are only a couple of examples but the point is that you would need to put money into the account.

A family member or guardian could also open an ABLE account for you.

Remember, money in the ABLE account would not hurt your SSI or SSDI & You can only have one account.

The money in the account could be used for things such as:

  1. Paying for transportation to get you to & from work or the movies, shopping, etc. OR
  2. It could also be used to buy your own car that you or someone you trust could drive to get you places OR
  3. Buy a new wheelchair OR
  4. Rent your own apartment OR
  5. Buy a new piece of equipment to help you communicate OR
  6. Many other things

How come the ABLE Act could be Good for Us?

If you are like me & receive SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) every month, you know how important that money is so that we can go to the doctor and stay healthy. It’s also important so that we can live in our homes, pay our bills, and get other things we need.

However, I’m sure that you also know that the money we get isn’t a lot and that it doesn’t leave much left over (if anything) for fun stuff like going out to eat, going to the movies, or buying a new shirt. If we want to do big things like buy a car or make home repairs, that’s definitely a challenge, too.

A lot of you, like me, have jobs. Most of us have to be careful because if we work too many hours, we run the risk of having less money in our monthly check (which we still need) or not getting our check at all, which could mean not being able to go see a doctor, pay our rent, etc.

Who can I Talk to about the ABLE Act?

Our senators and representatives in the Maine Legislature could really benefit from hearing from us about the ABLE Act, especially since they will be talking about this next year.

Let everybody know what you think about the ABLE Act on the SUFU Blog! :)

If you have any questions about the ABLE Act, please post those too and I will do my best to answer them.

We could take all the comments people write about the ABLE Act, write a letter & read it at the legislature next year!

As always, if you have trouble posting to the SUFU Blog or if you want help figuring out what you want to say, you can always email me: aolmstead@sufumaine.org

Until next time,

Avery

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