Learn more about how ABLE accounts can help supplement expenses.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families often must find a way to save without losing public benefits that a person with IDD receives. ABLE accounts are one tool that can be used to help people pay for the things that they may need and want in their lives.
Why should we consider getting an ABLE account?
ABLE accounts are special savings accounts that allow eligible people with IDD to save for disability related expenses. People with IDD and family members can save up to $15,000 a year in the person’s ABLE account, and money grows in the account tax free. The total limit that can be in an account is decided by the state in which the account is established (often $300,000).
Families should consider how an ABLE account fits into their plan to finance the future and whether this is the right way for the family to save. ome families may decide to create both an ABLE account and a special needs trust. Other families may use only one.
Who is eligible to get an ABLE account?
People with IDD who want to open an account must meet the following requirements:
- Must be disabled before their 26th birthday AND
- Receive Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits OR certify that you have a qualifying disability and a written disability diagnosis from a doctor.
What can ABLE accounts pay for?
ABLE accounts can pay for expenses that people have because of their disability. Expenses may include:
- Employment training and support
- Assistive Technology and personal support services
- Health, prevention, and wellness
- Financial management and administrative expenses
- Legal fees
- Expense for oversight and monitoring
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Any other expenses approved by the Secretary of the Treasury under regulations
How do ABLE accounts impact eligibility for public benefits?
People with IDD and their families can save up to $100,000 in an ABLE account without impacting their SSI benefits. SSI will be suspended if an ABLE account balance exceeds $100,000. However, SSI benefits and eligibility will not be terminated. When the balance falls below $100,000, SSI will resume.
ABLE accounts do not impact Medicaid eligibility and coverage of a person with IDD. However, when the person with IDD dies, remaining funds in the ABLE account will be used to reimburse the state Medicaid agency for services Medicaid paid for after the ABLE account was created.
How do I learn more?
Many states have ABLE programs, and many programs are available to people with IDD who live around the country, not just residents of the state. Click here to see which states have launched ABLE programs and the status of ABLE programs in other states.