Bangor Savings Bank presented its new product, the first of its kind in the country, Maine ABLE Benefit CheckingSM. The account was created for people with disabilities to allow greater accessibility to financial products and services, while protecting eligibility for federal and state of Maine benefits based on means.
Historically, people receiving benefits such as Supplementary Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are limited to $ 2,000 in resources. ABLE accounts offer new possibilities for financial health, planning and empowerment for people with disabilities and their families.
The federal law “Achieving a better life experience” of 2014 (ABLE law) created a new option for qualified people living with a disability and their families. Most ABLE programs follow an asset under management model. Maine has chosen a different approach and account structure to meet the more immediate needs of participants for whom long-term investment and savings are not a primary focus.
ABLE accounts originate from the federal ABLE law and are established and managed at the state level. In partnership with the Maine State Treasurer’s Office, which oversees and manages the program locally, Bangor Savings Bank serves as the administrator of the ABLE ME program.
ABLE ME, with Bangor Savings Bank’s Maine ABLE Benefit CheckingSM account as the sole instrument of deposit, was announced in September by Maine State Treasurer Henry EM Beck, Esq., And is the first of its kind in Maine and the country.
“The state is grateful to partner with Bangor Savings Bank to offer this first simple ABLE checking account product in the country,” Beck said. “When we started to develop this program, we listened to Mainers living with disabilities who told us that it was essential to have access to a respected financial institution based in Maine. I encourage Mainers to enjoy the protections and dignity that an ABLE account can offer.
“Our partnership with the State Treasurer is a unique public-private collaboration that allows us to expand access to banking services. said Bob Montgomery-Rice, President and CEO of Bangor Savings Bank. “The creation and delivery of this program supports the financial independence and well-being of disabled residents of Maine and reflects our continued commitment to providing better banking experiences for all members of the community. “
“Partnering with the State Treasurer’s Office to innovate in this first ABLE program administered by the Bank has been incredibly rewarding. This would not have happened without the vision and commitment of former State Treasurer Terry Hayes and current State Treasurer Henry Beck, as well as the unwavering support of our President and Chief Executive Officer. Bob Montgomery-Rice leadership, ”said Joyce Clark Sarnacki, Bangor Savings Chairman of the Bank Foundation and member of the ABLE ME development team.
The Maine ABLE Benefit CheckingSM can be opened at any branch of the Bangor Savings Bank and is available to eligible residents of Maine. For more information on ABLE programs across the country, visit the National Association of State Treasurers at https://nast.org/able/
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