January/February 2023 AchievABLE™ Newsletter

ABLE NRC champions the vital role that people with disabilities play in a diverse and inclusive workforce. We celebrate the contributions and elevate the voices of working ABLE account owners throughout our activities and resources.

The January/February issue of our AchievABLE™ Newsletter contains stories on the following:


At the beginning of this new year, ABLE National Resource Center celebrated the passage of the ABLE Age Adjustment Act in which makes more people with disabilities eligible for ABLE accounts and gives them the opportunity to chart new paths to achieve their goals in life through the increased financial freedom. We continue to actively collaborate on multiple fronts with our wonderful partners (both old and new), as we work together to build awareness around ABLE. Together we are advancing understanding and buy-in around the power of ABLE accounts among the public, national disability and financial partners, federal state and local agencies and community and faith-based organizations.

While our work at a systems level is important, we know that it is the lived experience of real people like our ABLE NRC Ambassadors – who are ABLE account owners and family members – that best exemplifies the power of ABLE. It is their voices, stories, strategies and better life outcomes that can shine a path for others to take those first steps forward on their own an ABLE journey towards increased financial independence through saving and investment.

ABLE NRC began working with our first group of ABLE Ambassadors in 2018 and we have grown our Ambassador program every year since then. Our Ambassadors are incredibly diverse, coming from all across the country and reflecting a wide range of ages, races, ethnicities and disabilities. What they share in common is that all of their lives have been improved by opening an ABLE account. Because they all know what their ABLE account has done for them individually, they have chosen to work with ABLE NRC to promote ABLE accounts in their community and throughout ABLE NRC’s network.

We recently reached out to ask Ambassadors for an update on their ABLE savings goals for 2023:

  • Purchasing a new home or condominium is a top savings goal. While Nathaniel Dykstra, Tim Elliott, Edward Mitchell, Emily Munson, Steven Hughes and Nathan Turner are all saving for this goal, Rachel is the only Ambassador saving for that perfect pink house!
  • An ABLE account provides the opportunity to invest in education and career development. Timothy Elliott plans to switch professions, heading to school to study cybersecurity. Sean Walfall-Flagg, Cheryl’s son who has an ABLE account, attended his first year of college and is planning for his future. Emily Munson has applied to a PhD program.
  • An ABLE account can provide a cushion to change occupations or a way to save income without affecting needs-based benefits. Sarah Perez has begun an art-inspired business with her ABLE account funds. Edward Mitchell is closer to achieving his professional goals through increased savings from his employment and additional savings into his ABLE account under “ABLE to Work.”

An ABLE account is flexible and meets the ABLE account owner wherever they are on their journey:

  • An ABLE account can provide peace of mind to a parent of an ABLE account owner. Fourteen-year-old Kenley Casselman’s mom, Jenny, shared that ABLE savings will support Kenley’s future independent living goals and college experience one day. Amy Tessler shared that her son, Scott, has moved into his own apartment and is learning independent living skills with plans to attend college. Teresa Price reported that, during a challenging year, her son, Logan, was able to use funds in his ABLE account to pay for important expenses. Without his ABLE funds, Logan might have lost his apartment and independence.
  • An ABLE account can provide the means to meet transportation needs for employment, medical appointments and recreational activities. Steven Hughes’ parents and Edward Mitchell were able to save up and purchase accessible vans with their ABLE accounts. Leah Campbell is currently saving in her ABLE account for a wheelchair accessible van.
  • An ABLE account can meet individualized needs and wants. Sixteen-year-old Davante McIver transitioned to high school and was able to attend his first church youth conference. Nathaniel Dykstra was able to travel to Europe to look for affordable housing. Leah Campbell was able to purchase a laptop computer.

We also want to congratulate Edward Mitchell and Nathan Turner on recent news they shared with us. Edward was selected to serve on a national board with United Healthcare and Nathan was recently hired by the State of Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disability as an Advocacy Policy Specialist.

Throughout 2023, you will be hearing more in-depth updates and strategies from our ABLE Ambassadors on what they are doing with their ABLE accounts. Stay tuned!

Join Us on Thursday, FEBRUARY 9th from 2-3pm ET for ABLE TAX TIME TIPS WEBINAR

Join us on Thursday, February 9th, 2023, from 2pm – 3pm ET for our “ABLE Tax Time Tips” webinar to learn how you can increase your ABLE savings and qualify for tax incentives now and in the future.

We will share tax filing tips that may result in significant tax savings and/or a refund you can deposit directly into your ABLE account! You’ll hear how ABLE account owners like you have maximized their ABLE savings through tax deductions and credits and how you can do the same!

This webinar will cover:

  • Tax incentives, deductions and refunds to build ABLE savings;
  • Why you should consider filing taxes even if you are not required to file;
  • Free tax filing options;
  • Guidance that will help ABLE account owners’ 2022 tax filing;
  • Steps to take now that may benefit your ABLE account for 2023 tax filing.

Webinar Facilitator:

  • Miranda Kennedy, M.P.P., Director of the ABLE National Resource Center


  • Don Dill, IRS Senior Tax Analyst with SPEC Headquarters; and
  • Laurie Schaller, Manager, Financial Empowerment, National Disability Institute



ABLE Age Adjustment Act passed as part of the Omnibus Spending Bill. This bill will increase the age of ABLE eligibility from “before age 26” to “before age 46” effective 01/01/2026. This will expand the number of ABLE eligible individuals by an estimated six million people, including one million veterans. National Disability Institute (NDI), parent company of the ABLE National Resource Center, and ABLE supporters and disability advocates from across the country strongly supported this change. Prior to passage of the spending bill, NDI Executive Director Tom Foley sat down with U.S. Senator Bob Casey in a Kitchen Table Conversation to discuss financial protection for people with disabilities and the ABLE Age Adjustment Act.


The ABLE National Resource Center and the Special Needs Alliance collaborated on preparing the Decision Guide, Understanding ABLE Accounts, Special Needs Trusts and Pooled Trusts, which provides information on how ABLE accounts, pooled trusts (PT) and special needs trusts (SNT) can be used together to improve a person’s quality of life. The options make it possible for a person with a disability to have savings greater than $2,000 and still maintain eligibility for federally-funded means-tested benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, which often form the foundation for special needs planning.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of account and determining which option, or whether several options, are most appropriate depends upon each individual situation. The ABLE National Resource Center has information to help you, and those supporting you, as you consider whether an ABLE account or a special needs or pooled trust, or both, can enhance your financial health, well-being and quality of life.

View Decision Guide


1. We oversee a guaranteed income program and are exploring options for ABLE account owners to maximize their income. Can these funds be directly deposited into an ABLE account by the program without it counting as income by needs-based benefits programs like Supplemental Security Income?

Guaranteed income pilot programs are available in some cities and counties across the country. Although many types of income are counted by needs-based benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recently issued guidance to their internal staff identifying the types of state and federal financial assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is not counted. The SSA guidance includes charts identifying many types of assistance, including specific guaranteed income pilot programs that have been approved by SSA where payments are not counted as income or a resource. These funds may be saved in an ABLE account up to the annual contribution limit.

2. I am self-employed and saving for retirement. As such, I’m contributing more funds, $30,590 total this year, into my ABLE account. I am using my ABLE account to save for my retirement. What is that lifetime contribution limit and how does it work?

It’s great that you are taking advantage of the ABLE to Work Act legislation by depositing some of your employment earnings into your ABLE account. You can save and invest those funds towards your retirement by depositing employment income into your ABLE account. The ABLE To Work Act Fact Sheet explains more about the rules, eligibility and the contribution limits for 2023.

Although there is an annual calendar year contribution limit for ABLE, there is no lifetime contribution limit. You may be thinking about the maximum account balance limit sometimes referred to as the “aggregate limit.”

Here’s how the balance limit works: Each state has a 529 ABLE account balance limit which varies from $235,000 to $550,000. Each state ABLE plan has the same annual contribution limit as the 529 college savings account limit where the ABLE plan is available. Once the account balance reaches that state plan’s balance limit through contributions and interest earnings, no further deposits or contributions can be made into the ABLE account until the balance falls below the state balance limit. If the account balance is more than the plan’s balance limit, often due to investment earnings, the funds can remain in the ABLE account without penalty, but future contributions cannot be made unless the stock market drops, bringing the account balance down or the account owner withdraws money for qualified disability expenses (QDE). If either of these situations occur, you could then make additional deposits into the ABLE account up to the ABLE plan’s balance limit and/or your annual contribution limit.

The policy for ABLE lifetime limits can be found in the Internal Revenue Service ABLE regulations. You can find your ABLE plan state limit by using any of the ABLE NRC comparison tools. For example, you can review the state plan you selected on the Map Tool. If you are getting near the state limit, and want to save more money in your account and do not have plans to use any of the funds for qualified disability expenses, you may want to use our tools under “Get Started” to find a plan with a higher state limit. There, you can compare factors important to you. You can rollover ABLE funds to another ABLE plan, once every 12 months, while closing the old account.

3. How can I give a gift of money to an ABLE account owner? Are the rules different for different amounts of money? And do they claim it, or do I, on my next year’s taxes?

Each state ABLE plan offers different ways to directly deposit funds into an ABLE account. The plan may post a link on their website or the account owner may be able to send you a direct deposit link. You can contact your ABLE plan to determine what works best for you. You can also review the ABLE plan’s program disclosure document. You can find the disclosure link when you click on the state on the U.S. map on the ABLE NRC website.

These are common ways to contribute: (1) through a bank transfer from your bank account. You will need the ABLE account number and routing number and you would follow the instructions to transfer funds to an external account; (2) by writing a check which is labeled with the ABLE account number and account owner’s name and mailing it to the ABLE state program. In some states, you may need to include a contribution form from their website with the check; or (3) by purchasing a digital gift card through the ABLE NRC website.

Generally, contributions to the ABLE account are treated as non-taxable gifts to the account owner and all contributions into the 529 ABLE account cannot exceed the gift tax limit under the IRS tax code. That limit for all contributions into an ABLE account, including account owner contributions, is $17,000 for 2023. (Note: a working beneficiary may have a higher contribution limit). The ABLE account owner can always check their monthly statement or contact their ABLE plan to ask how much more may be deposited into their account this year. Take steps to deposit funds directly into the ABLE account. Make your gift contribution at least 10 days prior to the end of the calendar year to ensure the deposit counts towards 2023 contributions.

ABLE 2023 Contribution Limit Increases

Effective January 1, 2023, the ABLE account contribution limit for this year is $17,000.

Also effective in 2023, an account owner who is employed, who will not have deposits made to a retirement account during the calendar year (a defined contribution plan, an annuity contract or an eligible deferred compensation plan), may contribute additional money to their ABLE account. The additional amount is whichever is less: up to the account owner’s employment income OR the poverty level for a one-person household for the prior calendar year. For 2023, the additional contributions may not exceed $13,590 if you live in the continental U.S. If you live in Alaska, the limit is $16,990 and in Hawaii the limit is $15,630.

ABLE NRC In the News

Awareness of ABLE plans continues to gain momentum! As of the third quarter of 2022, according to ISS Market Intelligence, there were 131,436 529(A) ABLE accounts opened, with $1,133 billion in assets invested in ABLE (529A) accounts.

ABLE plans have provided updated information for 2023. Please refer to the ABLE NRC comparison tools to learn the latest information:

You can register with ABLE NRC to take part in the 2023 American Saves Campaign! Each day will have a theme that centers on one critical area of financial wellness. This year, the themes were broadened to provide the opportunity for people to get the information they need to reach their financial goals:

  • Saving Automatically | Monday, February 27, 2023
  • Saving for the Unexpected | Tuesday, February 28, 2023
  • Saving for Major Milestones | Wednesday, March 1, 2023
  • Paying Down Debt Is Saving | Thursday, March 2, 2023
  • Saving At Any Age | Friday, March 3, 2023

ABLE NRC Upcoming Webinars & Webinars on-Demand