ABLE Account Decision Guide Series

Determining Whether Something is a Qualified Disability Expense (QDE)

Purchase of Vehicle as a Transportation QDE

The lack of a vehicle is often cited as one of the major barriers to successful employment, especially in rural areas and in parts of the country without public transportation.

→If vehicle cost likely available through public benefit programs. 

This will be rare. Consider state VR agency to pay cost of vehicle modifications; SSI’s Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS) to save for a vehicle and an Individual Development Account.

Most state VR agencies will not pay for a vehicle purchase or lease but will more likely pay for the special modifications to allow the individual to drive despite their disability. If individual qualifies for an SSI Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS) –  see Social Security Spotlight on Plan to Achieve Self Support, Consider using the PASS for all or part of the vehicle cost before using ABLE funds. Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), which offer matches of $1 or more for each dollar saved by the individual, may be available in some parts of the country.

If vehicle cost likely not available through public benefit programs. ABLE account allows for long-term savings for an outright purchase or down payment, without ABLE account counted as a resource by SSI, Medicaid or other means-tested federal and an Individual Development benefit programs.

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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.