COLUMBIA –State Treasurer Curtis Loftis kicked off SC Disability Advocacy Day with a reception honoring 20 disability organization partners for their support of the Palmetto ABLE Savings Program. Administered by the State Treasurer, the program enables South Carolina citizens with disabilities the opportunity to save for their future well-being without jeopardizing eligibility for important state and federal benefits.
“As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Palmetto ABLE®, we are grateful for our disability partner organizations that not only share information about this tax-advantaged savings program, but many of them also help manage these accounts on behalf of their clients,” said State Treasurer Loftis. “They have served as wonderful ambassadors for the program, and we wanted to formally recognize them as part of Disability Advocacy Day.”
Following Wednesday morning’s reception in the Governor’s Conference Room where attendees received certificates of appreciation for their work, representatives of the disability organizations walked over to the Statehouse for further recognition in house chambers and then proceeded to Disability Advocacy Day scheduled events on the north steps of the Statehouse.
Treasurer Loftis also addressed Disability Advocacy Day attendees with an update on how the Palmetto ABLE Savings Program has grown to serve nearly 3,000 South Carolinians with disabilities and more than $27 million in assets under management.
“South Carolina’s Palmetto ABLE Savings Program has significantly changed the way individuals with disabilities and their families plan for the future,” explained Treasurer Loftis. “The program provides the freedom to create savings goals and prepare for the added expenses that often accompany living with a disability. ABLE accounts are owned by the qualifying individual, helping to foster independence and enhance self-reliance. It’s been a real game-changer for our citizens living with disabilities.”
The federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) became law in 2014, allowing states to create savings and investment options for qualified individuals with disabilities that would not jeopardize their eligibility for means-tested public benefits. Then in April of 2016, the South Carolina General Assembly passed legislation to pave the way for the Palmetto ABLE Savings Program, which opened for enrollment in 2017.
Contributions to Palmetto ABLE accounts can be made by the account owner, family members or even friends, and 100% of contributions can be deducted on the contributor’s South Carolina state income tax return. Earnings grow tax-free in Palmetto ABLE accounts when distributions are used for qualified disability-related expenses. Up to $17,000 per year can be added to an ABLE account, and the program allows up to $13,590 per year of additional contributions of income by an employed account owner.
To learn more about the Palmetto ABLE Savings Program and its eligibility requirements, visit https://PalmettoABLE.com/.
Photo caption: State Treasurer Curtis Loftis (center) honored 20 Palmetto ABLE Ambassadors from across the state. These partner organizations have been strong advocates for the Palmetto ABLE Savings Program, a tax-advantaged savings program for individuals with disabilities.
Here are the SC Disability Partner Organizations that were recognized:
Anderson County Disabilities and Special Needs Board – Anderson, SC
Babcock Center – Columbia, SC
Berkeley Citizens – Moncks Corner, SC
Burton Center – Greenwood, SC
Clarendon County Disabilities and Special Needs Board – Manning, SC
CHESCO Services Chesterfield – Chesterfield, SC
CHESCO Services Elgin – Elgin, SC
Community Options – Columbia, SC
Disabilities Board of Charleston – Charleston, SC
Disability Rights South Carolina – Columbia, SC
Family Connection of SC – Columbia, SC
Florence County Disabilities and Special Needs Board – Florence, SC
Laurens County Disabilities and Special Needs Board – Laurens, SC
Lee County Disabilities and Special Needs Board – Bishopville, SC
MaxAbilities York County Disabilities and Special Needs Board – York, SC
SC Assistive Technology Program – Columbia, SC
SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs – Columbia, SC
SC Developmental Disabilities Council – Columbia, SC
SOS Care – Murrells Inlet, SC
Sumter County Disabilities and Special Needs Board – Sumter, SC