RALEIGH — State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, and the NC ABLE Board of Directors announced a substantial fee reduction for NC ABLE program account holders at the recent quarterly board meeting. administration. Annual account maintenance fees have been reduced by 25% to $34 for account holders who choose electronic delivery records.
“We are committed to reducing costs and increasing the value of the NC ABLE program,” said Treasurer Folwell. “It’s only fitting that during ABLE to Save month we are able to announce this fee reduction which puts more money in the pockets of eligible people looking to get a better life experience.” The reduction in costs for account holders was negotiated as part of a new contract.
The Board oversees more than $15.8 million in assets for nearly 1,800 account holders with an average account size of $9,300. The money can be used for eligible disability expenses such as housing, cell phones, adaptive equipment, transportation and virtually anything else that will help provide a better life experience. For many people with disabilities and their families, this may be the most effective program available, saving them MORE than the $2,000 limit for public support programs such as Medicaid and Security Income. additional.
U.S. Senator Richard Burr, RN.C., introduced the bipartisan Achieving a Better Life Experience Act to Congress in 2011. The legislation was necessary, he said at the time, because “families of people with disabilities are often face crippling financial burdens associated with high costs of health care, education, housing and transportation. North Carolina followed suit when the NC ABLE Act was signed into law in 2015.
“I’m proud of the staff and our community partners, like The Arc of North Carolina, Autism Society of North Carolina, Special Olympics of North Carolina and others who advocate for the disabled population,” Treasurer Folwell said. “NC ABLE awareness has grown organically over the past five years and we have seen a 20% increase in account openings and assets in the past seven months alone. I encourage everyone to join to the conversation because we all know someone who knows someone who would benefit from this life-changing program.
NC ABLE and Treasurer Folwell have raised awareness statewide this year, including participating in the Special Olympics North Carolina in June. Upcoming events include three regional runs/walks for autism, design projects with students from Franklin Academy and the North Carolina School for the Deaf, and informational webinars.
The NC ABLE program is governed by the six-member Board of Directors and chaired by Treasurer Folwell. North Carolina is also a member of the NC ABLE Alliance, an 18-state and Washington DC consortium dedicated to providing people with disabilities with low-cost ABLE checking accounts and investment products.