ABLE Account Decision Guide Series

ABLE Accounts and Working People with Disabilities

Means-Tested Support from State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies and ABLE Accounts for Beneficiaries Working or with Work Goals

Every state has a federally supported State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Agency, and some states also have a second VR agency serving people who are blind. You can expect your state VR agency will have a financial needs test a person with a disability must meet to receive funding for most VR services, including college and training school tuition and related expenses; transportation to and from a college or other training program; specialized computer equipment and software; and adaptations to vehicles to allow the person with a disability to drive to and from a college, training site or place of employment.

Federal VR policy states that SSI and/or SSDI beneficiaries are exempt from the VR agency’s financial need policy.

As noted in the discussion above, the value of ABLE account assets, up to $100,000, is not counted by the SSI program toward its $2,000 resource limit. If the person is still eligible for SSI, despite significant assets in an ABLE account, they will be exempt from the State VR Agency’s financial needs test. Since SSDI is not a means-tested benefit, the ABLE account savings will never be relevant to continued SSDI or VR eligibility.

For the person who gets services from the State VR Agency, as they move toward financial independence through work, VR agency support will continue even though there may be ABLE account savings. Also, since that same person may work during the college or community college school year and benefit from the range of SSI and/or SSDI work incentives discussed above, the extra money generated through work could be used to contribute to their ABLE account.


Note: Our ABLE Decision Guide Series is designed as an aid to decision making as it relates to establishing and using an ABLE account. This document does not cover every possible issue related to the topic and is not a substitute to more in-depth analysis that may be required in some cases.