November 12, 2019

Things to consider when deciding whether to transfer money from a 529 plan to an ABLE Account.

June 5, 2019

A Gift of Independence gift card is a new way to honor, celebrate, reward or support a member of your family, a friend, a co-worker or a neighbor who has opened an ABLE account and set savings goals.

May 4, 2019

At long last, HUD has published a letter confirming that ABLE Accounts (and money coming in and out of them) will not adversely affect eligibility for housing benefits. Read the HUD letter here

The letter states that: "Per the mandate of the ABLE Act, for the purpose of determining eligibility and continued occupancy, HUD will disregard amounts in the designated beneficiary’s/individual’s ABLE account."

The Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (P.L. 113-295.) was signed into law on December 19, 2014. The ABLE Act allows States to establish and maintain a program under which contributions may be made to a tax-advantaged ABLE savings account to provide for the qualified disability expenses of the designated benefici...

February 1, 2019

An introduction to ABLE Accounts - what they are and how they can be used to help improve the lives of people receiving means-tested benefits.

April 3, 2018

The Social Security Administration’s Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) website is a recently updated reference for beneficiaries, potential beneficiaries, advocates and interested members of the public. It provides information about SSI eligibility and processes and attempts to simplify complicated regulatory language. 

In its 2018 update of the section covering SSI Resources, SSA expanded its list and explanation of resources that do and do not count when determining eligibility for SSI.  The new, more comprehensive list now includes specific reference to ABLE accounts and special needs trusts (SNT) as resources that do not count for purposes of SSI. The list also includes handy hyperlinks to addition...

March 8, 2018

New POMS regarding ABLE accounts have come out and can be found here: https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501130740

Below is an excerpt from the the recent policy transmittal info with a summary

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This transmittal includes the current published guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts, as well as some system enhancements implemented on September 30, 2017, that were explained in AM-17060. In addition, we added an explanation about State ABLE partnerships, clarified excluded contributions, outlined when States began reporting information, and included new instructions about the use of debit cards. We simplified the references to qualified disability expenses (QDEs) t...

January 3, 2018

Families taking advantage of ABLE savings accounts will have a little more flexibility in planning for special needs as a result of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017.

As I previously noted on this blog, ABLE accounts, created by Congress via the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014, allow people with disabilities and their families to save for disability related expenses, while maintaining eligibility for Medicaid and other means-tested public benefits programs.

In 2018, people can contribute up to $15,000.00 annually into qualified ABLE accounts.  A provision in the new tax law allows families who have saved money in 529 savings accounts to rol...

November 4, 2017

The IRS has confirmed an increase to Section 2503, the federal gift tax exclusion. Section 529A(a)(2) of the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) Act specifically ties the annual contribution limit for ABLE accounts to section 2503(b) of the federal tax code, therefore any inflation adjustment to this section automatically adjusts the annual ABLE contribution limit.

October 9, 2017

The ABLE Act explicitly addresses how funds in an ABLE account impact SSI and Medicaid eligibility, but what about HUD? 

Even though the text of the ABLE statute does not specifically reference HUD or Section 8 Benefits, it does reference other needs-based federal programs in generalized language in section 103(a) of the Act (see full text using this link excerpted here). Regarding federal means-tested benefit programs, the Act provides that:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law that requires” means testing “any amount . . . in the ABLE account . . ., any contributions to the ABLE account . . ., and any distribution for qualified disability expenses . . . shall be disregarded. . .”

26 U.S.C. § 529A at sec. 103, Pu...

September 13, 2017

At long last the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had provided guidance to states on how to treat “ABLE” accounts in Medicaid financial eligibility determinations.

The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (the ABLE Act), enacted in 2015, created a program under which people with disabilities can save money for their disability-related expenses in tax-advantaged accounts. Because disability can serve as a basis for Medicaid eligibility, many individuals who apply for Medicaid on the basis of having a disability may be interested in opening an ABLE account, and this letter provides guidance to states on the treatment of funds in, contributions to, and distributions from an ABLE account...

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At long last, HUD has published a letter confirming that ABLE Accounts (and money coming in and out of them) will not adversely affect eligibility for...

HUD Publishes Letter Regarding ABLE Accounts

May 4, 2019

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