ABLE Accounts: Making Life Better for People with Disabilities
On December 19th, 2019, the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) will be five years old. Why are we excited? Because this five-year-old has influenced 41,000 people to open ABLE accounts that can earn tax-free income.
The ABLE Act allows an estimated eight million Americans with disabilities to save money for qualified disability expenses for their short-term needs and long-term future. ABLE account holders can use the funds for qualified disability-related expenses including housing and maintenance, as well as costs related to employment, transportation, health, technology and financial and benefits planning.
Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have ABLE programs. Fortunately, Georgia is one of the states with an ABLE program. Even if you live in a state that hasn’t established an ABLE program, you can enroll in any state’s program if they accept out-of-state residents, which many do. State ABLE programs are managing more than $220 million in savings and investment accounts.
These ABLE savings accounts will largely not affect a person's eligibility for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), Medicaid and other public benefits. ABLE account owners, who are SSI beneficiaries, are no longer stuck in a life of poverty or have to face the $2,000 asset limit and be disqualified from receiving SSI benefits.
Beginning last year, the ABLE National Resource Center (ABLE NRC) established its national ABLE Ambassadors to help millions of ABLE-eligible individuals and families learn that there are ABLE account holders very similar to them. And ABLE accounts grew by almost 17 percent in the fourth quarter last year, while assets under management grew by 19 percent for the same period.
Find out about Georgia's ABLE program HERE.
To learn about ABLE accounts in general as well as other state-specific ABLE programs, visit the ABLE NRC at www.ablenrc.org, which is managed by the National Disability Institute. The website has information on how to become ABLE ready, a state ABLE program comparison tool and guidance on setting short- and long-term financial goals.
Questions? Kimbrough Law may be able to help. Just give us a call.