Fifth Third expands partnership that serves customers with disabilities

Tom Welch. Courtesy Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank’s partnership with the National ABLE Alliance to provide financial services geared toward individuals with disabilities now is covering Michigan.

Fifth Third Bank said Monday, Dec. 13, the checking account it designed for the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program now is available in Michigan, making it the 21st state where this product is offered.

The special checking account is part of Fifth Third’s work with the National ABLE Alliance, a partnership of states dedicated to providing those living with disabilities and their families with better banking alternatives.

Fifth Third’s ABLE checking option offers all the features of a traditional checking account, such as a debit card, checks and access to more than 50,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide.

The Fifth Third Bank ABLE checking account also features a “notched” ABLE debit card. A physical notch in the debit card assists a visually impaired customer to easily identify the card and help ensure the card is inserted correctly into ATMs and PIN pads. The ABLE debit card also provides access to the ABLE-related expenses/programs, including health and wellness, housing, transportation and more.

“Supporting our customers and communities while enhancing inclusivity and access is an ongoing focus at Fifth Third Bank,” said Tom Welch, regional president, Fifth Third Bank. “We are pleased to support the MiABLE program and make banking easier for all of our customers.”

Under the 2014 federal ABLE law, people with disabilities and their families can set aside up to $15,000 a year in special accounts without affecting their eligibility for Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid or government programs. These ABLE accounts are modeled loosely after the popular 529 state-sponsored college savings accounts. State-sponsored ABLE accounts and plans vary, with some enrolling eligible people across the country and others limiting participation to those who reside in the state in which it was launched. The plans offer a mix of traditional banking and investment options.

“MiABLE’s partnership with the National ABLE Alliance will help ensure individuals with disabilities in Michigan have access to the most comprehensive savings program with lifelong benefits,” said Scott de Varona, MiABLE program director. “We look forward to working with Ascensus and Fifth Third Bank to continue that tradition of service and excellence to our current and future account holders.”

To open a MiABLE account, eligible customers can visit More information about Fifth Third’s ABLE accounts is at

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