Step 2: Who is Eligible?

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Understanding Eligibility

It is important to understand that not all individuals with disabilities will be eligible to open an ABLE account. The ABLE Act limits eligibility to individuals with significant disabilities with an age of onset of disability before turning 26 years of age. If you meet this age criterion and are also already receiving benefits under SSI and/or SSDI, you are automatically eligible to establish an ABLE account. If you are not a recipient of SSI and/or SSDI, but still meet the age of onset disability requirement, you could still be eligible to open an ABLE account if you meet Social Security’s definition and criteria regarding significant functional limitations and receive a letter of certification from a licensed physician (MD or DO). You do not have to be under the age of 26 to be eligible for an ABLE account. You can be over the age of 26, but the disabling condition must have occurred before your 26th birthday.

Topics at a Glance

Does Simply Having a Disability Qualify a Person to be Allowed to Open and ABLE Account?

No, not all people who have a disability are eligible to open an ABLE account. In fact, there are two requirements that must be met before a person can be allowed to be an ABLE account owner.

The ABLE Act limits eligibility to individuals with significant disabilities with an age of onset of disability before turning 26 years of age. If you meet this age criterion and are also already receiving benefits under SSI and/or SSDI, you are automatically eligible to establish an ABLE account. If you are not a recipient of SSI and/or SSDI, but still meet the age of onset disability requirement, you could still be eligible to open an ABLE account if you meet Social Security’s definition and criteria regarding significant functional limitations and receive a letter of certification from a licensed physician (MD or DO).

Can I Open an ABLE Account Even If I Am Older than 26?

You can be over the age of 26 when you open an ABLE account, but the disabling condition must have occurred before your 26th birthday.

Can I Open an ABLE Account Even If I Am Not Currently Receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

Yes, but you would still need to meet the age of onset requirement and you would need to get a “disability certification” signed by a qualified physician (MD or DO).

Additional Information

Not every individual with a disability is qualified to open an ABLE account. This webinar will explain the requirements related to being eligible to open an ABLE account. Additionally, this webinar will also discuss how ABLE funds may affect the beneficiary’s eligibility for federally-funded, means-tested benefits, such as SSI and Medicaid. The webinar will incorporate a panel of ABLE related stakeholders that will be asked to give their perspective on the presentation, including their experience with the given topic.

Webinar recording not available. For more information please read the #ABLEtoSave Series: ABLE Eligibility and Interplay with Public Benefits Presendation Slides.

  1. An ABLE eligible individual is only allowed to have 1 ABLE account at any given time.
  2. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can open an ABLE account at any age.
  3. You may be eligible to open an ABLE accound if you are not receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

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