Helena’s 12-year-old Ethan Martin has dreams for his future that extend well into adulthood. And thanks to a new fully implemented law, he and many other Montanans will have the ability to save for the years ahead without compromising their ability to apply for assistance.
The 2015 Legislature passed Senate Bill 399 to help eligible individuals with disabilities, such as Ethan. Eligible Montanans with disabilities can now establish ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) savings accounts that allow more autonomy and control over personal saving decisions and spending on qualified disability expenses, while protecting eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and other important benefits for those with disabilities.
The new program was announced on Sept. 26.
“This opens up a whole new world for people,” said Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Director Sheila Hogan. “In the past, folks with disabilities were essentially penalized for saving money and being financially responsible. This will positively change the lives of thousands of Montanans.”
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