Many state and federal benefits programs for people with disabilities have income and resource limits. Although these limits aim to ensure that the people who need benefits the most get them, often they end up making those who are able to save money feel like they’re being punished. We want people to make smart choices with their money, but we don’t want people to feel like they can’t do that without losing services. Where is the balance?
One new solution is an ABLE account. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act now allows families to set aside savings for their family member with a disability without fear of having that money block services. ABLE accounts can hold up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for benefits including SSI, and a person with an ABLE account can keep their Medicaid without losing coverage. This is the best option for families who want to make sure their family members have enough support.
Has your family member not qualified for benefits because they have too much in savings? If your family member creates an ABLE account, they may now fall under the limit and be eligible for benefits like SSI. See if your family member qualifies for SSI by using our Exceptional Lives SSI Guide.
Although the ABLE Act was signed in 2014, states are rolling out their programs one at a time. In Early June Ohio became the first state to offer ABLE accounts through their program, STABLE. Today, Tennessee announced that they have launched their ABLE program, too. Don’t live in Ohio or Tennessee? Don’t worry – no matter what state you live in, you can create an ABLE account in any state with an active ABLE program, like Ohio or Tennessee!