Steve: My name is Steve Slack. I'm from Hurricane, West Virginia. Sophie is my 18 year old daughter. She's a junior at Hurricane High School. She was born with Trisomy 21, which means that she has Down syndrome. Sophie is my hero in life. She has just surpassed all expectations. She's in all Gen Ed classes. She's on her school's robotics team. She just got back from a regional competition in Knoxville, Tennessee. She has a real passion and talent for gardening.
Steve: ABLE accounts were created by Congress a few years ago for the Achieving The Better Life Act and it allows people with disabilities to have income that they can keep and use.
Roxanne: WVABLE is a savings and investment account program that's specifically designed for individuals with a disability. It allows them to save and invest without it impacting their eligibility for public benefit programs such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.
Steve: And so people save up and they're able to use these accounts to go to college, to live on their own, to buy the clothes that they want to wear, to buy the food that they want to eat, and to live their dreams.
Roxanne: A special thing about ABLE accounts and WVABLE you know, it's a savings account program but it also offers investment options and the earnings in the investments grow tax-free and they remain tax-free as long as the funds are spent on qualified disability expenses. But then also the other tax benefit is for the West Virginia resident and taxpayer you know monies that they contribute to their STABLE account qualifies toward a West Virginia state income tax deduction.
Steve: It gives me peace of mind to know that she's going to have this tool to help support herself after I'm gone, after my my wife is gone, and that we can start teaching her about that now. My ultimate hope on that is for her to use the money, how she wants to use it. I know that sounds very simplistic, but that's a huge deal for us, for Sophie to make her own decisions.