BANGOR — Bangor Savings Bank has introduced a first-of-its-kind checking account, Maine ABLE Benefit CheckingSM, created for people with disabilities to allow greater accessibility to financial products and services, while protecting eligibility for federal and state of Maine means-tested benefits.

Historically, individuals receiving benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are limited to $2,000 in resources. ABLE accounts provide new avenues for financial health, planning, and empowerment for individuals with disabilities and their families.

The federal “Achieving a Better Life Experience” Act of 2014 (ABLE Act) created a new option for qualified individuals living with disabilities and their families. Most ABLE programs follow an assets-under-management model. Maine has chosen a different approach and account structure to meet the more immediate needs of participants for whom longer-term investment and saving is not a primary goal.

ABLE accounts originate from the Federal ABLE Act and are established and managed at the state level. In partnership with the Office of the Maine State Treasurer, which oversees and maintains 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 deposit instrument, was announced this fall by Maine State Treasurer Henry E. M. Beck, and is the first of its kind in Maine and the nation.

The Maine ABLE Benefit CheckingSM can be opened at any Bangor Savings Bank branch and is available to qualifying Maine residents. For more information about ABLE Programs across the country, visit the National Association of State Treasurers website.