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More Oregonians Will Be Eligible to Save for Disability-Related Costs, Starting in 2026

More Oregonians Will Be Eligible to Save for Disability-Related Costs, Starting in 2026

 Content Editor

February 9, 2023

Starting in 2026, tens of thousands of additional Oregonians will be eligible to save, build more secure financial lives, and take advantage of tax benefits through the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan, a Treasury-administered program specifically designed to support people with disabilities.

A major expansion of eligibility for ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Savings Plans was approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Biden in the final days of the 2022 session: fulfilling a long-sought goal for advocates of people with disabilities across the country.

The law raises—from 26 to 46—the age at which a disability needs to be diagnosed for a person to qualify to open an ABLE account. The accounts, first authorized by Congress in 2014, give people with disabilities a way to save tax-free for disability-connected costs, while also protecting their ability to keep receiving important federal disability benefits that have asset limits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.

Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read was among the proponents of the change, which promises to help improve the quality of life for thousands of additional at-risk Oregonians, by eliminating a legal barrier to saving.

“This expansion in eligibility is welcome and long overdue for thousands of our neighbors and family members who live with disabilities and overcome obstacles every day,” said Treasurer Read. “The Oregon ABLE Savings Plan is a vital program that helps to build more secure lives.”

After working closely with representatives of the disability community, Oregon first made ABLE accounts available in 2016. As of November 2022, there were more than 5,100 people saving through the important program, and a combined total of $50 million was being saved.

The Treasurer serves as the chair of the Oregon 529 Savings Board, which oversees the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan and the Oregon College Savings Plan, a program which enables tax-free saving for job training and higher education expenses. In collaboration with program staff, the Board will soon begin laying the groundwork so that new savers can start participating when they become eligible in 2026.

In addition to overseeing the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan for Oregonians with disabilities, Treasury also administers a companion program known as ABLE for ALL that is available to qualifying residents of other states.

In Oregon, an estimated 600,000 people are living with a disability and about half of those are currently eligible to open an ABLE savings account, with the current age restriction. When the higher age of onset threshold goes into effect in 2026, an additional 100,00 to 150,000 people with disabilities could be eligible, based on early estimates. Nationally, it is estimated that an additional 6 million Americans experiencing disabilities (including 1 million service veterans) will be eligible.

In addition to allowing tax-free growth and protecting savings from asset limits, ABLE accounts allow low- and middle-income savers to receive state and federal tax credits that reduce their income tax bills, such as the Oregon Education Savings Credit and the federal Saver’s Credit.

For more information about how to open an account, visit Information will be posted to the site about the new eligibility guidelines, as it becomes available.

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