Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities

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ABLE to Save for Today and Tomorrow

A Flexible Way to Meet Today’s and Tomorrow’s Needs By Dennis Milligan

Everyday life has become more expensive, placing an additional challenge on people with disabilities to meet today’s needs while planning for the future. Many of these families have been burdened with trying to keep their assets under $2,000 to avoid losing federal benefits. This has created a viscous cycle of ‘spending down’ that can now be broken.

The Arkansas ABLE plan – which stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience – recognizes the importance of saving for today and tomorrow. Administered by my office, the plan offers individuals with disabilities and their families an affordable way to save for disability-related expenses on a tax-deferred basis, without affecting their eligibility for means-tested benefits. Plus, all contributions to an Arkansas ABLE account are tax deductible up to $10,000, according to a state law passed in 2019.

My office launched Arkansas ABLE in October of 2018. Since that time, hundreds of Arkansans have opened ABLE accounts and have saved a combined total of more than $3.5 million. These are real dollars that people with disabilities can use for things that improve their quality of life, such as housing, education, therapies, assistive technologies, and more. There is also a checking account option within the plan that allows you to use a debit card for disability-related expenses.

You no longer have to limit your resources to a certain amount to ensure you don’t lose needs-based benefits such as Medicaid, SSDI, SNAP or TANF. With the Arkansas ABLE Plan, you can save for the future while ensuring that your needs are met.

You can make contributions as frequently as you want to by mailing in the occasional check, making one-time or recurring electronic transfers from a bank account, or even setting up payroll direct deposit.

We’re calling on families of individuals with disabilities to help us highlight the benefits and flexibility of Arkansas ABLE plans and help raise awareness of this truly valuable program.

For more information or to open an Arkansas ABLE account, please visit

About the Arkansas Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

The Council is a federally funded state agency that promotes integration, inclusion and independence for Arkansans with developmental disabilities. Council members are self-advocates, relatives and/or caregivers of individuals with DD, state agency directors, and representation from nonprofit and private organizations. The Council works to encourage self-advocacy; to remove barriers to information, services and support; to advocate for policy changes; to develop and support coalitions; and to educate community leaders. For more information about the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and its mission, browse more pages on this website, or call 501-682-2897. Follow the Council on Facebook and Twitter @gcddar. You can also find Arkansas GCDD on YouTube.