Saving for the future is now doable thanks to ABLE accounts. Sometimes parents of adult children with disabilities who are receiving Social Security or Medicaid may be concerned about employment for their child. They’ve heard that benefits could be lost if their love one earns above a certain threshold. What are ABLE accounts, why would someone want to have one, and how do they work? All good questions!
ABLE, which stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience, is a savings and investment program created by the U.S. Congress for people diagnosed with a disability before age 26. ABLE account owners can save up to $15,000 per year from their own earnings or from benefits payments, inheritance, or from friends and relatives who may want to contribute to the account. The great thing is that an account holder can save up to $100,000 in an account without losing their Medicaid or other benefits. Account holders who work can save even more money per year.
Many states now offer ABLE account programs. Individuals and families exploring the ABLE possibilities can even compare and contrast different state program advantages, like debit card options, investment plans, and tax advantages before they enroll.
ABLE plans also work well with existing future-planning arrangements. For instance, many families set up special needs trusts for long-term supports and an ABLE account for shorter-term savings and spending on things like housing down payments or new technology. Families who originally set up a 529 plan for college savings can also roll over those funds into an ABLE account.
Refer families who have questions to:
- ABLE National Resource Center
- INvestABLE (Indiana’s ABLE program)
- ABLE Accounts (a fact sheet from Indiana’s Center on Community Living and Careers)
Watch for upcoming webinars on ABLE accounts and other benefit topics. We’ll keep you posted!