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ST. LOUIS • Missouri is launching a new program for tax-free savings accounts to help families financially support people with disabilities.

Treasurer Eric Schmitt announced the program's start Monday in St. Louis. It will allow people with disabilities or their families to open tax-exempt savings accounts to pay for related expenses.

The savings wouldn't count toward total assets when determining a person's eligibility for Medicaid or other benefits. However, Supplemental Security Income benefits would be suspended while an account's assets exceed $100,000. 

Other people can give tax-deductible donations of as much as $8,000 to the program, which then will be invested. Married couples can give as much as $16,000.

Schmitt sponsored the legislation when he was a state senator in 2015.

Schmitt's 12-year-old son Stephen has disabilities. The treasurer's spokesman Garrett Poorman said Stephen will be the first to open a savings account.

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Jacob Barker • 314-340-8291

@jacobbarker on Twitter

jbarker@post-dispatch.com