Treasurer Garrity Visits Susquehanna Service Dogs to Celebrate 5th Anniversary of PA ABLE
Grantville, PA - Treasurer Stacy Garrity and state Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48) visited the new Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD) training facility in Grantville today to highlight the 5th anniversary of the PA ABLE Savings Program. They were joined by a representative from the office of state Rep. Sue Helm (R-104).
SSD Executive Director Deb Tack and Keystone Human Services President and CEO Charles Hooker, III, led the group on a tour of SSD’s new, state-of-the-art training facility.
PA ABLE is a tax-advantaged savings program for Pennsylvanians with disabilities and their families. It provides the ability to save without affecting eligibility for means-tested benefits such as Supplemental Security Income or Medical Assistance.
“Susquehanna Service Dogs does tremendous work to improve the lives of people with disabilities. The incredible animals they train here increase independence and opportunity for our friends, family members, and neighbors with disabilities – which is also the goal of PA ABLE.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity
Susquehanna Service Dogs, a program of Keystone Human Services, breeds, raises, trains, and places service dogs and hearing dogs, as well as facility dogs, to assist children and adults with disabilities. Founded in 1993, SSD has placed more than 350 assistance dogs throughout Pennsylvania and the surrounding states.
“We’re working to change people’s lives. Our new training center is specially designed to meet the needs of our working teams, new partners, puppy raisers, dog trainers, and dogs. We’re very excited about this new era of supporting people to be more independent and achieve things they never dreamed were possible.”
SSD Executive Director Deb Tack
“The PA ABLE program has a proven track record of helping individuals with disabilities build their financial security. This tax-advantaged savings program is a great tool to save for a wide range of qualifying disability-related expenses, particularly housing, healthcare, and education.”
state Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48)
“We are so fortunate in Pennsylvania to give individuals and families access to PA ABLE, so they can save and invest in a meaningful way. Financial security can give all of us peace of mind for today and the future.”
state Rep. Sue Helm (R-104)
PA ABLE offers six investment options along with an interest-bearing checking account to help Pennsylvanians with disabilities save for short- or long-term disability-related expenses — from groceries and rent to assistive technology and vehicle modifications. PA ABLE may also help individuals save and pay for service animals.
PA ABLE account tax advantages include:
- No federal or state income tax owed on earnings or qualified withdrawals;
- PA state income tax deduction on up to $16,000 annually; and
- Exempt from PA inheritance tax.
“In the first five years of PA ABLE, it’s easy to see the importance of this program for Pennsylvanians. PA ABLE account owners are dedicated to saving, and their commitment to do so continues to make program fee reductions possible not only for those saving here, but for ABLE savers across the country. I’m excited to see this program continue to grow and empower more individuals to gain financial freedom.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity
ABLE programs became possible after the federal ABLE law – sponsored by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey – was enacted in 2014. Sen. Lisa Baker and Former Rep. Bernie O’Neill were instrumental in the passage of the PA ABLE legislation in 2016.
Since the first PA ABLE account was opened in 2017, more than 6,000 Pennsylvanians have opened accounts and saved more than $70 million. PA ABLE is one of the largest ABLE programs in the country, and is the largest in the 19-member National ABLE Alliance, accounting for nearly 25% of total assets.
To be eligible to save with PA ABLE, a qualifying disability must have been onset prior to a person’s 26th birthday. The ABLE Age Adjustment Act, introduced in Congress by Senator Casey and cosponsored by Senator Pat Toomey, would raise the eligibility age to 46. (The House version has been cosponsored by 12 members of the Pennsylvania delegation.) Passage of the ABLE Age Adjustment Act would expand ABLE account access to about 6 million more Americans, including an estimated 1 million veterans.
To learn more about eligibility and how to start saving with PA ABLE, visit paable.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855-529-2253.
Samantha Heckel, Press Secretary (Treasury), 717-418-0206 or email@example.com
Kris Weaver, Vice President of Development (Keystone Human Services), 717-678-4130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.