SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - At a time when businesses struggle to find enough workers, the Illinois State Treasurer is high-lighting potential employees often sidelined.
On Monday, Treasurer Mike Frerichs spoke at the Hope Vocational Academy in Springfield.
The central Illinois school helps those with disabilities reach their full potential. But for too long that could not include a job, since earning a paycheck meant losing federal benefits that come with a $2,000 asset cap.
"What that means is a lot of people out there who would be able to go out and be productive members of society, who would be able to work and have pride in their work have been told no," said Frerichs.
State Treasurer Michael Frerichs says a state program called ABLE changes that.
Families can put up to $100,000 in an ABLE account, without losing benefits. Then they can use the money for disability related expenses.
"Parents out there can know their kids can be productive, they can earn income, and they can see that grow in an ABLE savings account," said Frerichs.
Also, with so many ‘Help Wanted’ signs at businesses across the state, Frerichs wants to get employers' attention during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
"We want to draw attention to that fact that there are workers out there, people who want to work, people who have benefits of work and make sure employers know they're available," said Frerichs.
This is similar to the Illinois 529 college saving account, but to reduce fees for users Illinois banded together with multiple states in the National ABLE Alliance.
For more information go to: https://www.illinoistreasurer.gov/Individuals/ABLE