MiABLE program awareness event

A new program was launched with the goal of helping thousands of Michigan residents with disabilities save money.

Until now, those with disabilities risked losing their government benefits if they collected too much in savings.

“I think it’s going to be great,” said Michela Robb.

Robb is someone who doesn’t bend the rules. Now the rules are bending for her.

Robb has cerebral palsy and receives social security benefits.

Under old rules, if she worked and saved more than $2,000, she would lose SSI.  

But not any more thanks to the state’s MiABLE savings program.

Michigan residents who became disabled before the age of 26 can save and invest up to $15,000 each year in MiABLE investment options without losing government benefits.

It gives people like Robb the chance to earn some financial security.

“I can actually start saving for things that I need or that I want without having to have fear of that money being taken away,” Robb said.

Lawmakers tell TV5 why the MiABLE program is so important to them.

“We want to make sure that we’re incentivizing the opportunity for people to not only work but to be able to save money while they work,” said Vanessa Guerra.

“I’ve got 18,000 residents likely in this region and another 10,000 in the thumb that should take advantage of this program,” said Ken Horn.

“Just because they may be disabled they don’t need to be labeled in a particular way in which they can no longer save for themselves and be very independent at the same time,” said Rodney Wakeman.

MiABLE has actually been in place since 2016. But state leaders say only a handful of residents who qualify for the program participate.

That’s why they were in Saginaw to raise public awareness about MiABLE.

As for Robb, who aspires to be a published author, she’s ready to get to work and start saving for things she needs thanks to MiABLE.

“Having a washer and dryer in the house that I can reach so that I can actually do my own laundry,” Robb said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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