Achieving a Better Life Experience Act – the ABLE Act

At M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC we participate and present many seminars in areas of disabilities. One major theme we always emphasize is the individuals with disabilities can never have more than $2000 in their names. This is critical for the individuals with special needs to qualify for the government benefit of Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  The monthly government benefit of $674 for a single person is not much at all and it is supposed to cover food and shelter. Probably what may be more important is the Medicaid that is attached to the SSI. This typically becomes the health insurance for the individual with special needs.

Through discussions with parents there is a growing frustration of why there is not some type of savings plan like a 529 plan for individuals with disabilities. Well since 2009 there has been bipartisan support in the US Senate and the House of Representatives for the ABLE Act or better known as Achieving a Better Life Experience Act – the ABLE Act. This law would to allow individuals with disabilities and families to create tax advantaged savings accounts to meet their long-term ongoing support needs related to education, health care, employment, transportation and housing. The income is tax exempt and the assets held in the ABLE Account do not count as a resource when determining eligibility for any government benefits (SSI, Medicaid etc). Up to $500,000 can be put into this account until the individual with Disabilities reaches the age of 65.

So hopefully sooner than later we can see this Act passed and we can create a savings account similar to the 529 Plan for our loved one with disabilities.

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