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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

State Treasurer Eric Schmitt announces public education initiative for MO ABLE

KANSAS CITY - Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt today visited the Easterseals Midwest Kansas City headquarters to announce a new public education initiative aimed at increasing awareness of the MO ABLE program.

Launched on Monday, April 24, the program enables Missourians with disabilities to save for their long-term needs through tax-advantaged savings accounts. The public education initiative will include social media, paid advertising, partnerships with disability organizations, and more. 

Video of the announcement is available here for reuse.

“At the heart of MO ABLE is the idea that every individual has the right to achieve their full potential,” said Schmitt. "The focus of our efforts moving forward is to make sure as many of the 800,000 Missourians living with disabilities know about this program as possible."

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Schmitt, whose son Stephen faces the challenges of several profound disabilities, was joined by fellow advocates from the disability community to discuss the benefits of the program.

"This program is a way forward for many Missourians," said Tom Berry, Executive Vice President of External Relations and Chief Development Office for Easterseals Midwest. "We believe that everyone regardless of their disability should have the right to live, learn, work, and play in their communities, and MO ABLE will help many families and individuals do exactly that."

Michel Ann Kaiser, a Liberty resident whose son Dalton has autism, encouraged those in attendance to help promote the new program.

"Our job now is to spread the word about ABLE and make all families of children with disabilities aware of the program," said Kaiser.

MO ABLE functions similarly to Missouri’s MOST 529 College Savings Plan. Missourians who contribute to MO ABLE accounts will be eligible for a tax deduction of up to $8,000 or $16,000 if married and filing jointly. State-based ABLE programs are made possible by the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. Earnings in ABLE Accounts are not subject to federal income tax, so long as funds are spent on qualified disability expenses.

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