At Golden Rule Industries, we always have our eye on what’s happening in our state. And this is especially true when it affects Oklahoma residents and the community of people with disabilities.
So this month , we took note of one particular piece of news. What might that piece of news be? Oklahoma State Treasurer Ken Miller is succeeding in the establishment of the State’s Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings program.
By providing tax-advantaged savings account, this program provides an additional resource for eligible Oklahomans with disabilities. It also allows citizens the chance to save and invest funds without harming need-based benefit programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
“For too long, Oklahomans with disabilities have been denied easy access to savings and investment opportunities. Today, that all ends,” Miller said in a news release. “We are proud to announce the launch of the Oklahoma STABLE Program. Beginning now, qualified Oklahomans with disabilities can sign up for an Oklahoma STABLE account and start saving for their future and enhanced quality of life.”
Under ABLE, Oklahoma residents with disabilities are now eligible to save up to $15,000. Before the program, people receiving certain benefits were restricted in how much money they could save or invest. Additionally, investment earnings for qualified disability expenses are state and federal tax free. For example, expenses may include rent and/or housing, education, employment (staffing, training and support), transportation, disability-assistance technology, and much more.
Former Oklahoma Sen. Brian Crain, who wrote the house bill that authorized STABLE, said the bill is the “best of good government.”
“It is legislation which is not only efficient for the state, because the state has very little expense involved with this … and yet this is responsive to a large number of people in the state of Oklahoma for a real need.” Crain continued.
ABLE supporter and lobbyist Heather Hancock-Blackburn said the act allows her to get married and provides her with the ability to own a home one day.
“I take pride in the fact that I helped to get this bill passed, which helps all people with disabilities,” Hancock-Blackburn said.
This program may be extremely beneficial for Oklahoma residents with disabilities seeking to have additional resources to plan their futures. We here at Golden Rule Industries love to follow this type of news, especially when it’s in our very own state!
Of course, we’ll continue to follow any developments closely to see how the program impacts the community. But we have an enormous passion for helping our Working Partners and the Muskogee, Wagoner, and Tahlequah communities.
If you’re an Oklahoman with a disability, you can take this online quiz to know if qualify. And for more information contact, you can also contact Tim Allen, Deputy Treasurer for Communications & Program Administration at (405) 522-4212.
But we’ll keep a close eye as this news develops!
Golden Rule Industries of Muskogee, Inc. is a non-profit agency established in 1953. Its mission is to better serve adults with disabilities – to improve their quality of life through vocational opportunities and more.