Opening a MiABLE Account Is as Easy as 1-2-3 All Year Long

Learn why a MiABLE account is valuable to individuals with disabilities with this quick and easy Q&A.

What is MiABLE?

First, it is not an answer on “Jeopardy.”

But if it were, the category would be “Simple things to help people with disabilities save money.”

MiABLE is a program that helps people with disabilities and their families save for the future. It stands for the Michigan Achieving a Better Life Experience (MiABLE) Act of 2015, but most people just call it MiABLE — it’s a lot easier to say.

And, opening a MiABLE account, says R. Scott de Varona, MiABLE Program Director at the Michigan Department of Treasury, is pretty easy, too.

Why do people with disabilities and their families need MiABLE?

In Michigan and in other states, people with disabilities and their families often must make a hard choice when it comes to saving money. That’s because the maximum amount of money a person with disabilities can have in their savings account, without risking their other benefits, is $2,000 — unless they have a MiABLE account.

MiABLE lets those with disabilities save more and keep their full benefits for things like health care, food, housing and everyday expenses.

Opening a MiABLE account with the Michigan Department of Treasury allows people with disabilities to save money without risking their eligibility for government programs including Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid.

De Varona says people living with disabilities and their families face many challenges as they try to save for the future while keeping the benefits they have, but he says it doesn’t have to be that way.

How does MiABLE work?

Up to $16,000 per calendar year can be put into a MiABLE account. Individuals who are employed but do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan are eligible to put another $12,000 annually in their MiABLE account. MiABLE account holders can access their funds at any time for any qualified disability expense.

What can my MiABLE be used for?

MiABLE accounts can be used for small expenses or large. As long as the money is spent on qualified disability expenses, funds from MiABLE are not taxed. Many people use their MiABLE savings for medical expenses, home modifications, public or private transportation, medical costs, education and many everyday expenses.

Is it hard to open a MiABLE account?

People with disabilities and their families shouldn’t be nervous to open a MiABLE account; it’s as simple as 1-2-3.

“Enrolling takes about the same effort as opening a bank account and basically requires the same documentation,” de Varona said. “People will need to provide basic information including name, address, date of birth, Social Security number. All you need is access to a computer.”

MiABLE has cleared the path to enroll by making it easier to upload all the necessary documentation online. There is no need to email, fax or mail anything. There also is dedicated staff on hand to assist anyone with questions.

Who is eligible for a MiABLE account?

Individuals are eligible to open and fund a MiABLE account if they become disabled or blind before age 26 and are entitled to collect Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income — though they do not need to be receiving either of these benefits to qualify for a MiABLE account. MiABLE also allows family members, guardians, powers of attorney and others to open and manage an account on behalf of a person with a disability.

Do I have to pay taxes on my savings?

Earnings on MiABLE savings grow tax-free, and no federal or state tax is owed on withdrawals used to pay for qualified disability expenses.

In addition, Michigan state income taxpayers can claim up to a $5,000 deduction for single filers and $10,000 for joint filers for MiABLE contributions. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, friends and others can all contribute to a person’s MiABLE account.

How do I sign up?

To enroll in MiABLE, start at miable.org and click on “Start Saving.” For additional help with enrolling, contact a MiABLE customer service representative at 844-656-7225 or mi.clientservice@savewithable.com.

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