Today, National Disability Institute (NDI) and CalABLE launched the AchievABLE Corner, a dedicated section of the NDI website that offers just-in-time financial education resources and tools for potential and current CalABLE account holders. The AchievABLE Corner will provide information and advice on how to use a CalABLE account as an opportunity to maintain health, independence and quality of life, and maximize savings without putting public benefits at risk. The AchievABLE Corner also addresses broader issues, including how to open and use a CalABLE account, and offers ABLE account owners the opportunity to improve money management skills to save regularly to maximize their financial well-being.
CalABLE is a tax-advantaged savings and investment program designed to help eligible individuals, whose disability occurred before the age of 26, to save for disability-related expenses without jeopardizing public benefits. The CalABLE program is open to all qualified U.S. residents with disabilities.
Visitors to the CalABLE website will find a direct link to the AchievABLE Corner on the NDI website. Resources and tools are divided into three categories, depending on an individual’s place in the CalABLE account process: 1) Thinking about opening a CalABLE account, 2) Ready to open a CalABLE account, and 3) Currently using my CalABLE account.
“The AchievABLE Corner is the first initiative to address the need for financial resources and tools to help current and potential ABLE account holders make informed decisions about how to pay for disability-related expenses,” said Michael Morris, Executive Director, National Disability Institute. “Our intention is to replicate this pilot across all state ABLE programs to give ABLE account holders access to financial education resources to help them save and manage their funds. We would like to thank Wells Fargo for the company’s support of this initiative.”
“The Achievable Corner tools provide practical financial information to one of California’s most vulnerable populations – people with disabilities. It can help new and experienced savers gain the confidence to make wise decisions that assist them in building and maintaining their financial health and quality of life,” Treasurer Ma said.
The AchievABLE Corner was created through funding from Wells Fargo and content from the company’s Hands on Banking® financial education program. Available in both English and Spanish, the free Hands on Banking program teaches people in all stages of life about the basics of responsible money management.
“Wells Fargo is committed to financially empowering people with disabilities,” said Kathy Martinez, head of Disability and Accessibility Strategy at Wells Fargo. “Our goal is to help underserved communities reach their full potential by expanding access to financial education, coaching, tools and resources that can help people establish healthier financial habits and achieve greater economic stability and success. We’re proud to have Hands on Banking financial education content available in the AchievABLE Corner to help visitors open and effectively manage a CalABLE account.”
ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts that have the potential to significantly increase the independence and quality of life of individuals with disabilities. This includes both individuals with disabilities who receive public benefits and those who do not receive public benefits. ABLE accounts do not jeopardize benefits such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and others. Since the passage of the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act in December 2014, 43 state ABLE programs have launched, including the District of Columbia. Many of these ABLE programs are nationwide programs. As of March 2019, nearly 46,000 individuals with disabilities from across the country have opened ABLE accounts and nearly $260 million has been invested in those accounts.