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ABLE TN celebrates 5 years of helping Tennesseans with disabilities save, invest
Shelli King
/ Categories: Tennessee Treasury

ABLE TN celebrates 5 years of helping Tennesseans with disabilities save, invest

ABLE TN reaches a major milestone this month – five years of helping people save for the future.

Nashville, TN –ABLE TN reaches a major milestone this month – five years of helping people save for the future. A program of the Tennessee Department of Treasury, ABLE TN was authorized by the 109th General Assembly.  Tennessee launched one of the first Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) programs in the nation, June 2016. In celebration, Governor Bill Lee has proclaimed June 2021 as “ABLE to Save Month” in Tennessee.

ABLE TN provides individuals with disabilities the opportunity to save and invest with tax-free earnings, and take advantage of low fees, diverse options, and convenient online management — all to help participants maintain independence and quality of life.

The independence and quality of life are reflected in the stories of ABLE TN account owners, who have shared that due to their savings, they are now ABLE to:

  • "Help my brother, Tom! Thank you!" -Kathleen Duerksen
  • "Live life more fully and empowered to maintain my goals."  -Silas Young
  • "Have Peace of Mind for a Secure Future." -Bobby Johnson
  • "Attend Chattanooga Christian School where I’m receiving an excellent education that will lead to a regular high school diploma!"  -Luka Hyde
  • "Save for college, so I can get ready for a job I love." -Eline Sharp

“Having served as the Executive Director of the Sertoma Center, I have worked with adults with intellectual disabilities. With the benefits and savings from the ABLE TN accounts, it greatly helps Tennessee individuals and their families,” said Senator Becky Duncan Massey, R-Knoxville, who sponsored the ABLE TN legislation. “I am proud that Tennessee leads the way in offering this valuable resource.”

All Tennessee residents with a disability that onset before their 26th birthday can open an ABLE TN account, if they are eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or have obtained a disability diagnosis by a qualified physician. ABLE TN has created a tool, ABLE Assist, to help determine eligibility, available on ABLETN.gov. The individual with the disability is the owner of the account, but accounts may be created by the beneficiary, parents/guardians or a third-party legal representative. Individuals are limited to one ABLE account at a time.

Over $30.13 million has been saved to cover qualified disability expenses, such as education, assistive technology, and housing for more than 2,580 ABLE TN account owners. About $5.7 million or 19% of the total amount saved through ABLE TN was earned through investments.

“I commend the Tennessee General Assembly for its foresight that has proven to positively impact our most vulnerable citizens,” said State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. “As one of the nation’s first ABLE programs, we are proud and honored to celebrate five years of making a difference in the lives of Tennesseans.”

More stories from ABLE TN account owners and a copy of Governor Lee’s “ABLE to Save Month” proclamation can be found at ABLETN.gov. Follow the “Five Years ABLE” celebration on Facebook and Twitter.

More about ABLE TN

There is no impact on federal means-tested benefits for ABLE TN accounts with a balance of less than $100,000. ABLE TN offers participants the ability to select from 14 diverse investment options, the same top performing investment options available through TNStars® College Savings 529 Program, which has been consistently ranked top 5 in the county by SavingForCollege.com.

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