A new tax-free investment program to assist people with disabilities without jeopardizing their federal Social Security benefits recently opened in North Carolina and 12 other states – a product of bipartisan law championed by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.
North Carolina’s newly elected state treasurer, Dale Folwell, met with Burr and other state treasurers and advocates in Washington on Monday to tout the new coalition of states administering tax-advantaged savings accounts for people with qualifying disabilities. Burr said he and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., were working on two pieces of legislation that would expand the program. The other states involved are Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
The consortium of 13 states under the ABLE Alliance – which shares its name with the underlying law called the ABLE Act – has allowed North Carolina and other participating states to offer a low-fee structure for the investment accounts, Folwell said. Ascensus, a national investment and savings account firm, is under a five-year contract to administer the program for participating states.
Enrollment began Jan. 26 in North Carolina. Folwell estimates that at least tens of thousands of North Carolinians are eligible to sign up.