Missouri is introducing tax-free savings accounts to help families financially support people with disabilities.
Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt announced the new initiative, called the Missouri Achieving a Better Life Experience Program, on Monday. The program will allow people with disabilities or their families to open tax-exempt savings accounts to pay for qualified expenses.
Those expenses are defined as any cost incurred by the disabled individual as a result of living with a disability, including housing, education and health care. Participants in the program can deduct up to $8,000 annually or $16,000 if married and filing jointly. Citizens must have had qualifying disabilities before the age of 26 to be eligible for the program.
Missouri’s enactment of an ABLE program makes it the 20th state to implement a version of the program. Several other states have their own versions of ABLE in various stages of development.According to the most recent data from Cornell University, 14.5 percent of Missourians have a form of disability. That amounts to about 800,000 people, according to the treasurer’s office.