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An Arkansas program to help people with disabilities save money has been implemented, state Treasurer Dennis Milligan announced on Thursday.

The program is called Arkansas' Achieving a Better Life Experience, which the Benton Republican described as a tax-advantaged investment account for people with disabilities.

Act 1238 of 2015, sponsored by then-Rep. Julie Mayberry, R-East End, was enacted to create the program as a savings tool for people with disabilities, according to Milligan's office. Its purpose is allow people with disabilities to save for disability-related expenses on a tax-free basis, while preserving their ability to benefit from Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and other federal programs.

"Since the moment this legislation was enacted into law, we have been researching best practices and equipping staff members with the appropriate knowledge in order to run this program successfully," Milligan said in a news release.

Arkansas ABLE accounts are 529-A investment accounts and are open to individuals with a physical or mental disability that is expected to last for at least a year or that can cause death, according to Milligan's office. The accounts are open to people of any age, as along as the disability occurred before age 26.

Account owners can contribute up to $15,000 tax-deferred each year. People with the accounts may use the funds for any expense that is incurred as a result of living with a disability and is intended to improve their qualify of life. Qualified expenses include education, helpful technology, employment training, housing, legal fees and funeral costs.

Metro on 10/26/2018

Print Headline: State savings plan for disabled begins

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