Piggy bankA law signed by President Obama in 2014 allows people with disabilities who became disabled before they turned 26 to set aside up to $14,000 a year in tax-free savings accounts without affecting their eligibility for government benefits.  Called the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, the law is now being implemented one state at a time.  So far, 16 states have ABLE programs, according to the ABLE National Resource Center.  However, no matter which state you live in, you can open an ABLE account in most states with an active ABLE program.

The states that now have ABLE account programs up and open for enrollment are: Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia. Most offer enrollment to those who live out-of-state.  Also, another state, Pennsylvania, is about to open enrollment.  For details, click here

Under the ABLE Act, the tax-free savings accounts can be used to pay for qualifying expenses such as the costs of treating the disability or for education, housing and health care, among other things.  The existence of the accounts will not compromise the individual’s ability to qualify for benefits like SSI or Medicaid as long as the account balance does not exceed $100,000.  

For up-to-date details on the state-by-state rollout of ABLE programs, visit the ABLE National Resource Center’s website.

For an article on the pros and cons of ABLE accounts, click here.

To find out whether an ABLE account is the right move for you or a loved on, see your special needs planner.