ABLE-accountsHey, folks on SSI and Medicaid! You know that ever-dreaded $2,000 “asset limit” that effectively locks you into poverty? Well, there’s this fancy new thing called the “ABLE Act” that allows many of us to save money far beyond $2,000, so we can finally save for our future or have a financial buffer for the present. It’s an absolute game-changer for many in the disability community. These specialized ABLE Accounts are up and running, so you may be able to open one today!

ABLE Accounts are specialized tax-advantaged savings and investment accounts specifically for people with disabilities that allows a good chunk of our community to save up to $100,000 and still keep SSI, and $300,000 or more and still keep Medicaid (and attendant care tied to Medicaid eligibility). Different account options, such as FDIC-insured savings or full investment portfolios, are opening up through various state programs. It’s possible to open an account through any state’s program no matter where you live, so you have plenty of options to choose from.

An ABLE Account could allow you to save for your future or even to pay those regular monthly bills while still having a financial buffer! This ABLE program is a game changer that can free many people with disabilities from poverty, and is destined to improve lives nationwide.

The ABLE Act Isn’t Perfect

Now, the ABLE Act isn’t perfect. It has some major problems that need to be fixed.

For example, there’s a clause that says you had to acquire your disability before age 26 to be able to open an account. This provision was put into the Act as a compromise between lawmakers and advocates … although the lawmakers’ goals baffle me.

That cut off is a huge barrier for many in the disability community — especially a good chunk of New Mobility’s readers. But advocates are pushing to fix it, and for even more reforms to financial opportunities for ABLE Account holders. So keep an eye out for future reforms — and I’ll do my darndest to get them up here when they come along.

Time to Get Excited

Now it’s time to get really excited, because you can open an account today, in as little as 10 minutes!

Ohio’s STABLE program and Nebraska’s Enable program are already up and running, and there are plenty more on the way. You don’t have to live in those states to open an ABLE Account through the STABLE or Enable programs — and if you find a better program opening up later on, you can switch over without penalty.

You can only deposit $14,000 per year, which means the sooner you open an account the more you can save. So go check out your options, and open one up as soon as you can!