An ABLE account, is a state-run savings program for eligible people with disabilities in the United States. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts allow the families of disabled young people to set aside money for their care in a way that earns special tax benefits. When an individual dies, funds remaining in the ABLE account, after the payment of outstanding Qualified Disability Expenses (which may include funeral and burial expenses), may be used to reimburse the state for Medicaid-related services.
ABLE account programs continue to roll out on a state-by-state basis. Below is a list of state programs we know of so far, with links to each program’s website. Keep in mind that you may be able to set up an ABLE account even if your state does not yet have its own program; many state programs allow out-of-state beneficiaries to open accounts.
Although it may be easy to set up an ABLE account, there are many hidden pitfalls associated with spending the funds in the accounts, both for the beneficiary and for her family members. In addition, ABLE accounts cannot hold more than $100,000. Therefore, it is imperative that anyone thinking about establishing an ABLE account speak with her special needs planner first in order to make sure that all of the pieces of a special needs plan will properly align with the ABLE account.
For more on ABLE accounts, visit the ABLE National Resource Center as well as the following Special Needs Answers articles: