FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2015
TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas State Treasurer Ron Estes and Representative Erin Davis (R-Olathe) introduced a bill today that would provide families with disabled children a new way to save for their children’s future.
The Kansas Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Savings Program would allow families to cover their child’s future education, health and wellness costs, housing, transportation and related expenses in a tax-free savings account under a plan similar to the Kansas Learning Quest 529 Program that allows families to save for higher education.
Assets in ABLE accounts will be partially sheltered from asset tests for Medicaid and Social Security Disability benefits within limits established by federal legislation.
“This legislation would ease the financial burden parents face when trying to provide critical services needed to support their children living with disabilities,” said Kansas State Treasurer Ron Estes.
“The Kansas ABLE Savings Program would allow parents to save tax-free for current and future disability-related expenses, which in return will help secure their child’s future without jeopardizing the child’s eligibility for important benefits,” Estes explained.
Under the Kansas ABLE Savings Program, children and adults whose disability occurred before age 26 and who meet Social Security disability standards or have a disability certification would be eligible to have an ABLE account. Friends and relatives will be able to contribute up to $14,000 per beneficiary each year.
“Disabled advocacy groups and families have worked hard for many years to get federal legislation passed authorizing states to set up these accounts,” said State Representative Erin Davis. “I’m thankful for Treasurer Estes’ leadership in helping to move this legislation forward for the benefit of fellow Kansans.”
Ron Estes is the 39th state treasurer for the state of Kansas and is the first state-wide elected official from the city of Wichita in 20 years. He was elected to serve as the Midwest Regional Vice President for the National Association of State Treasurers 2012-2013, and now serves on the College Savings Plans Network Executive Board. Ron has also served as Sedgwick County Treasurer and as the treasurer for the Kansas County Treasurers’ Association. He was born in Topeka and is a fifth-generation Kansan. His family continues to run a farm in Osage County. Ron and his wife, Susan, have three children.
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