Mom and sons Zach and KC share their IL ABLE story
For people with disabilities, the positive impact of being able to save money in an IL ABLE account extends far beyond the dollar amount of their savings. IL ABLE accounts can foster a sense of accomplishment and independence. In a recent interview, IL ABLE Account Owners Zach and KC, along with their mom, Micki share how IL ABLE is an important financial resource for them.
accessABLE: Why did you choose to open IL ABLE accounts for Zach and KC?
Micki: I opened the IL ABLE accounts to help my sons realize that they could save money instead of always spending it right away. I wanted and still want them to have a sense of accomplishment when they receive a paycheck.
accessABLE: Zach and KC, do you work? If yes, tell us about it? Do you put your earnings into your IL ABLE account?
Zach: Yes, I work at a Jewel grocery store. I have more than one job there. Most of the year, I bag and push carts. In the springtime, I am in charge of the outside plants people buy. I have been there since 2013. Before that, I was at Dominick’s for 13 years. I like what I do. My earnings go into my regular checking account. But I move money into ABLE when I have a lot of money in my checking account.
Editor’s Note: You can have your paycheck directly deposited into your IL ABLE checking account. Then you have less worry about avoiding the $2,000 asset cap in a regular checking account.
KC: I had a job, but when the pandemic started, that job went away. I did put some money that I earned into the IL ABLE account.
Editor’s note: Some account owners who work can save more. Learn about ABLE to Work.
accessABLE: Micki, how easy or difficult was it to open your sons’ IL ABLE accounts?
Micki: I found it very easy to open the accounts in Illinois. The people I spoke with by phone at the IL ABLE office were extremely helpful.
Editor’s note: IL ABLE customer service is available by phone 8 am – 5 pm at 1-888-609-8683 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
accessABLE: As a parent, what are some of your hopes and dreams for your sons?
Micki: As a parent, I hope that both my sons have a sense of self-worth. Included in that is having pride in their work and earnings. The IL ABLE account lets them use some of their earnings for items that they wouldn’t have been able to purchase on their own before. Knowing they paid for it themselves instead of having a parent buy it means the world to them. It gives them a feeling of independence and control over their money.
accessABLE: How does having an IL ABLE account for them help you to achieve these dreams? What types of expenses does it help to pay for?
Micki:. My sons have used money in their accounts to buy furniture, such as a new mattress and box springs, pay for special recreation programs and trips, and purchase laptops. It is also used for transportation for work, such as Uber rides.
accessABLE: What do you like to do to have fun and are you saving for anything special?
Zach: I like to hang out with friends and go to Six Flags Great America. Right now, no I’m not saving for something special.
KC: Special Olympics. For fun, I like to hang out with my girlfriend. Yes, I am saving for something big, but right now, nothing special.
Editor’s note: Learn more about spending with IL ABLE.
accessABLE: You are both Special Olympics Illinois athletes. What sports do you each participate in? What is your favorite sport?
Zach: I am also a Global Messenger for Special Olympics Illinois. I do downhill skiing, swimming, basketball, volleyball, bocce and track and field. I don’t have a favorite sport.
KC: For Special Olympics, my favorite sport is basketball. But I also do snowshoe racing, track and field, volleyball, softball, and bowling.
accessABLE: What do you think other families should know about IL ABLE accounts?
Micki: Many families know that they must monitor their loved ones’ bank accounts if those persons are receiving government funding. Before ABLE, if the person’s balance approached the limit, then the money would have to be spent on items that weren’t necessarily needed or important. The IL ABLE account avoids that issue and instead allows the person with a disability to wait to use the money when it is really needed or for something very specific that will bring them much joy or give them more independence.
accessABLE: Is there anything about having an IL ABLE account that you want other people with disabilities to know about?
Zach: Having an IL ABLE account lets me keep more money than I could before. I like saving money so I can do things and buy things that help me. I live in a townhome. I used money in my IL ABLE account to pay for things for my home. It makes me feel more independent.
KC: Having an IL ABLE account lets me have money that I can keep for a long time and then use on something special, like Special Recreation programs and trips. It makes me feel good that I can save money. If other people want an IL ABLE account, I would tell them to go ahead and open one.
Thank you, Micki, Zach and KC!
Readers, please join the IL ABLE team to cheer on Zach and all of the athletes as they compete at the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games June 17-19. IL ABLE staff will be available to answer questions and share information at the Horton Field House and the Bocce Ball Competition all day Saturday.
Ready to open an IL ABLE account? Enroll here!