A nonprofit which helps disabled South Carolinians is suing the State Treasurer’s Office, claiming a newer program of almost the same name is creating confusion among its clients.
ABLE SC has helped provide services for those with disabilities for more than two decades, while the Treasurer’s Office’s SC Able Savings program helps those with disabilities save and invest their money while maintaining their eligibility for needs-based programs. The financial program was created under a 2016 state law.
ABLE SC director Kimberly Tissot says the similar names are confusing the same people they hope to help. He organization is suing for trademark infringement. “(The Treasurer’s Office’s) refusal to end the confusion by changing the name has forced us to file this lawsuit, which was our absolute last resort,” she told reporters during a news conference last week.
State Treasurer Curtis Loftis maintains the Able Savings Program was specifically created by state law and he has no control over its name. He said he has no problem with ABLE SC lobbying state lawmakers for a rebrand. The position was seconded by the original law’s sponsor State Rep. Mark Willis, R-Fountain Inn, who said he had not been aware of the nonprofit and would be willing to file legislation next year to change the financial program’s name.
ABLE SC attorney Thomas Moses said the lawsuit does not seek any money, but simply asks the treasurer rename SC ABLE. “It has caused quite a bit of confusion,” he told reporters. “Both parties serve the same customers, the same consumers from the disabled community in South Carolina. And the confusion has been rampant, frankly.”