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2023

NEWSLETTER

Disability Rights of West Virginia
wvable logo.jpg

Empowering
individuals with a disability
to achieve
greater independence
and financial security

April

Article by Roxanne Clay

What is WVABLE?

WVABLE is a tax-advantaged savings and investment account program designed to give individuals with disabilities more independence and financial security.   WVABLE is made possible by the Achieving a Better Life Experience in West Virginia Act, also known as the West Virginia ABLE Act, and allows many individuals with a disability to save and invest without losing eligibility for certain government benefits that are critical to their health and well-being, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  The law recognizes the extra costs associated with living with a disability, and raising a child, or caring for an adult family member with a disability and aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified disability expenses.  With WVABLE, eligible individuals can now save well above the $2,000 asset limit set by the Social Security Administration and Medicaid while protecting their eligibility for critical public benefits.  WVABLE is administered by the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office and offers ABLE accounts to the West Virginia resident through a partnership with the Ohio STABLE program. 

"WVABLE accounts are a way for individuals with disabilities to save for a rainy day, just like any other person, without fear of losing benefits.  Money can be set aside for emergencies or large purchases when needed.  ABLE accounts can be easily set up online in a matter of minutes.  If you are a person with a disability or a parent/guardian of a person with a disability, now is the time to see  if a WVABLE account can work for you!"

Susan Given, Executive Director

Disability Rights of West Virginia

WVABLE Celebrates Fifth Anniversary!

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On February 9, 2023, WVABLE celebrated five years of empowering individuals with a disability to live more independently today while planning for their financial future.  As of March 1, 2023, WVABLE accountholders have collectively saved well over $5.5 million in their STABLE savings and investment accounts with the average account balance exceeding $7,500 – this is well over three times the amount individuals with a disability in WV were permitted to save before WVABLE.  In calendar year 2022, 180 new accounts were established with over 600 West Virginians with a disability currently saving and investing with WVABLE.  WVABLE and State Treasurer Riley Moore congratulate the hundreds of accountholders for their success in saving to reach their goals in achieving financial independence.  WVABLE values and attributes the growth and success of the program to the many partner agencies, the accountholders, and their families for helping to inform eligible individuals statewide about this life changing program. Here’s to many more years of working together on behalf of individuals with a disability!

Celebrating the Passage of the
ABLE Age Adjustment Act

WVABLE is thrilled to be celebrating the passage of the Federal ABLE Age Adjustment Act where tens of thousands more West Virginians, including Veterans, whose disability onset occurred later in life, will have the opportunity to save for health, independence, and quality of life. 

 

Beginning January 2026, the eligibility criteria for age of onset of disability changes from “before the age of 26” to “before age 46”.  Passage of this bipartisan bill marks a significant step forward since the ABLE Act was first passed in 2014.  We applaud the efforts of the self-advocates, agency partners and the support by our Congressional delegation for this major accomplishment! 

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As a result, over six million individuals nationwide, including one million Veterans, will be able to benefit from saving with ABLE without jeopardizing eligibility for SSI, Medicaid, as well as food and housing benefit programs.

WVABLE Accountholders can now
save even More

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made an inflation adjustment for 2023 in which the maximum annual contribution limit for an ABLE account has increased to $17,000 per calendar year. For the employed WVABLE account holder, they may contribute their employment earnings up to $13,590 per calendar year.  This is in addition to the standard maximum annual contribution limit of $17,000 which brings the grand total annual contribution limit for employed beneficiaries to $30,590*.

An Expanded List of Authorized Legal Representatives (ALR) who can Establish a WVABLE Account.

In case you missed it!  There is now an expanded list of Authorized Legal Representatives (ALR) who can establish a WVABLE Account.   A WVABLE account may be opened by a qualifying person with a disability, or if the individual chooses, they may designate an Authorized Legal Representative (ALR) to act on their behalf.  If the Eligible Individual is unable to establish a STABLE Account, the ALR may be the eligible individual's agent under a power of attorney or, if none, a conservator or legal guardian, a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a grandparent, or a SSA representative payee (individual or organization), in that order. Click the following link for more information https://wvable.com/alr-info.

To learn more about WVABLE, visit our website at https://wvtreasury.com/WVABLE, or contact WVABLE directly by email wvable@wvsto.com or call 304-340-5050. 

*If the account holder or their employer is contributing to a retirement plan – including a defined contribution plan (e.g., 401(k)), annuity plan (403(b)), or deferred compensation plan (457(b)) this calendar year – the account holder is not eligible to make ABLE to Work contributions.

Client Comments

Why we do what we do

I can always get in touch with my advocate.  She always has a lot of information about anything I would need.  She is a great worker.

Keep up the good work!

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