Step 4: How Do I Open an Account?

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How to Enroll and How to Compare ABLE Programs

Many ABLE Programs are similar, but they may differ in important ways. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to choosing an ABLE program, and with over 45 options to choose from it is important to know how to find a program that best meets your needs.

Topics at a Glance

Do I need to visit my local bank in order to open an ABLE account?

No, all ABLE plans may be opened online. Some plans may offer alternatives such as paper applications. Maine is currently the only state that allows enrollment at their participating Bank of Bangor.

Can I open an account in multiple ABLE programs?

No, a person is only allowed to have one ABLE account at a time.

Am I allowed to change ABLE programs?

Yes. Although you cannot have more than one ABLE account at a time, you can transfer to another ABLE program if you choose.

Are ABLE programs required to offer a debit card feature and/or an FDIC insured checking account option?

No, however many do offer those benefits. It is important to look at what benefits a program offers when choosing the right ABLE program for you.

Are all ABLE programs required to let out of state residents open accounts?

No, ABLE programs are not required to let out-of-state residents open accounts. However, most ABLE programs allow out-of-state residents to open accounts.

Where can I go to compare different ABLE programs?

The ABLE National Resource Center website offers visitors tools to help you select the ABLE program that best meets your needs. When you have selected the program of your choice, simply click on the “Program Name” to be directed to the website to open your ABLE account. Keep a record of the state ABLE program you selected and their contact information. ABLENRC does not offer or manage the ABLE savings accounts.

  1. Three State Program Comparison Tool
  2. Search by ABLE Program Features Tool
  3. Map Tool

Additional Information

  1. Opening an account in most states is done online, through the state ABLE program's website. . Contact the state ABLE plan if you need other options.”
  2. Several states offer state income tax deductions for in-state residents who make contributions to an ABLE account.
  3. Many ABLE programs offer a debit card.

Most states in the country have launched ABLE programs. the ABLE National Resource Center (ABLE NRC), as part of the #ABLEtoSave campaign, invites potential ABLE participants, their families and other ABLE stakeholders, to view the webinar, Choosing the Right ABLE Program for You. This archived webinar focuses on helping you understand how to determine which ABLE program might be best for you and how to best prepare to open your ABLE account.

Ready to move to step 5? How Do I Manage My Account? >>

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