Thursday, January 26, 2017

ABLE Act Programs Grow

Last summer, we wrote about the ABLE Act; a promising piece of legislation for Americans living with disabilities. The ABLE Act of 2014 allows people living with disability and their families to set up a tax-free savings plan, modeled after 529 plans which allow parents to set up tax-free savings accounts to use later to offset the heavy cost of college.

Two years after the ABLE Act’s passing, three states had either launched or were preparing to launch a version of the program, including Nebraska, Tennessee and Ohio. In a short period of time another seven states have adopted similar programs which could dramatically improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Before the ABLE Act, people living with a disability who saved as much a $2,000 a year could be rendered ineligible for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, Money reports. Now, those same people can save up to $14,000 a year before it would affect their eligibility for the aforementioned benefits. A game changer, to say the least. States with ABLE Act programs now include:
  • Alaska ABLE Plan
  • Florida ABLE United
  • STABLE Kentucky
  • Michigan’s MiABLE
  • Nebraska Enable Savings Plan
  • Ohio STABLE Accounts
  • Oregon ABLE Savings Plan
  • Rhode Island’s RI’s ABLE
  • Tennessee’s ABLE TN
  • Virginia's ABLEnow
The funds that go into ABLE accounts will not count against the $2,000 asset limit for Medicaid, SSI or SSDI, according to the article. If you are living with disability in California, you may have looked at the above list with some concern, having not seen the state listed. California’s version of the program CalABLE began operations July 1, 2016 and is anticipated to open for business summer 2017, according to the Office of the State Treasury.

If you or a family member requires more information and/or assistance in filing for SSI and/or SSDI, please call Driscoll Law Corporation 949-359-1370 for a free consultation.

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