By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
A new initiative offers expanded opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the workplace and highlights Kentucky employers committed to the financial prosperity and well-being of their employees with disabilities.
The initiative, Friends of STABLE Kentucky, is a public-private partnership from the office of the treasurer which is an expansion of the STABLE Kentucky initiative helping those with disabilities create savings in a tax-free account.
In an interview with The Bottom Line, Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball said with these accounts, individuals can save more money without jeopardizing their disability benefits. With a standard STABLE Kentucky account, an individual can save up to $15,000 tax-free for qualifying purchases.
A new emphasis on the program has been added within the last year called ABLE to Work which encourages those with disabilities who are able to join the workforce to find employment without fear of losing their benefits by allowing for another $12,000 in savings to the account.
“This is a potential game changer for people in this community who want to be working. And I know there are a lot of employers who want to be employing people and focusing on their abilities,” Ball said. “There’s a big emphasis all across the state right now making sure people with disabilities know ‘hey, we have needs in employment and you can do this, we need you to be contributing in this way.’”
In order to officially become a Friend of STABLE Kentucky, an organization must:
• Provide equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
• Demonstrate knowledge within the department of human resources on STABLE Kentucky.
• Have at least one employee with a STABLE Kentucky Account.
• Provide a direct deposit mechanism for employees for their STABLE Kentucky Account.
Hear more about the STABLE Kentucky and Friends of STABLE Kentucky programs in the interview with Treasurer Ball below: