Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Releases Guidance on ABLE Accounts

On April 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released guidance to Public Housing Directors, Managers and Administrators regarding the “Treatment of ABLE accounts in HUD-Assisted Programs.” The ABLE National Resource Center (ABLE NRC) is pleased to see that the guidance acts to reinforce the language, spirit and congressional intent of the ABLE Act to ensure that ABLE accounts should “supplement, but not supplant” public benefits being provided to the ABLE account owner, including supports and services provided by HUD programs.

The guidance letter directly states that, “Given that the ABLE Act creates a federally mandated exclusion for ABLE accounts applicable to HUD programs, in determining a family’s income, HUD will exclude amounts in the individual’s ABLE account pursuant to 24 CFR 5.609(c)(17). The entire value of the individual’s ABLE account will be excluded from the household’s assets. This means actual or imputed interest on the ABLE account balance will not be counted as income. Distributions from the ABLE account are also not considered income. All wage income received, regardless of which account the money is paid to, is included as income.”

The contents of the letter are divided into the following topics:

  • Background on the ABLE Act
  • Applicability to HUD programs
  • Definition of terms
  • Treatment of ABLE account in HUD programs
    • Contributions made by the designated beneficiary
    • Contributions made by others directly into the ABLE account
  • Rollovers from existing ABLE accounts
  • Verification
  • Contact information

View the guidance letter.