Spring 2024 AchievABLE™ Newsletter

The Spring issue of our AchievABLE™ Newsletter contains stories on the following:

A New Year for financial Stability

The dawning of a new year brings with it the opportunity for reflection, resolution and, most importantly, action. This year, let us unite in our collective commitment to amplify the positive impact the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) can have on the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities.

Opening an ABLE Account:

One of the most impactful actions you can take is to open an ABLE account. Or, if you are an employer that offers a retirement plan, ensure that an ABLE account is a product offered to your employees. This simple yet powerful step provides a gateway to financial independence, enabling individuals with disabilities to save and invest without jeopardizing their eligibility for essential benefits.

Increasing Contributions:

Consider increasing your current contributions to your ABLE account. Small increments can lead to significant financial growth over time, providing greater flexibility and resources to fulfill your aspirations. If you were contributing the maximum of $17,000 annually in 2023, now is the time to make an adjustment to increase it to $18,000; or make additional contributions of your earnings from work if you qualify for ABLE to Work (up to $14,580 for those who live in the Continental U.S., Alaska $18,210 or $16,770 for residents of Hawaii). If you are a family member, friend, legal guardian or advocate, provide contributions to your loved one’s account.

State Plan Comparisons:

Take the time to explore state plan comparisons on the ABLE NRC website. This step can help you identify the ABLE plan that aligns best with your financial goals and needs, ensuring a personalized and effective strategy for achieving a better life experience.

Identifying Goals: 

Take a moment to identify your goals. What do you aspire to achieve with your ABLE account? What goals do you have related to providing financial education if you are a service provider or educator? Consider adding ABLE account education in career specific training to increase the number of people with disabilities in competitive employment. Help to dispel the myth that people with disabilities will lose their benefits if they earn wages. By setting clear goals, you pave the way for purposeful financial planning. 

In the spirit of this new year, let’s challenge ourselves to make resolutions that are not only achievable, but transformative. Break down your goals into simple steps and celebrate every milestone along the way. It’s never too early or too late to start your ABLE path. Every action, no matter how small, counts. If you need financial education ideas, information is posted on our site under resources/tools. 

Best wishes for a fantastic 2024, your ABLE NRC team (Cheyenne, Marlene, Laurie, Miranda and Jody) 


Follow us on the ABLE NRC YouTube Channel. Check out ABLE Ambassador, Rachel Mast, in her video blog. She is the proud owner of the first ABLE account opened in Kansas. She explains how she saves some of her earnings in her ABLE account. At 24 years old, she already has a solid track record of being an advocate for advancing ABLE. ABLE Accounts and Youth Transition Planning: Rachel Mast (youtube.com). Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your story and inspiring others! 


Upcoming Webinars 

In April, ABLE NRC will recognize #ABLEtoSave month. In addition to a social media campaign, we will host two webinars:

#ABLEtoSave Opens the Door to Housing Opportunities: April 16, 2024, 2 pm ET
Register here.

#ABLEtoSave for Lifelong Financial Wellness: April 25, 2024, 2 pm ET
Register here.

On Demand Webinars
Listen to one or both of the following webinars, or other past webinars that are available 24/7, as Webinars-on-Demand on the ABLE NRC website. All webinars are posted within 10 business days of the live events: 

  1. The ABLE National Resource Center and the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: Collaborative (NTACT:C) held a webinar on January 18, 2024 to launch the ABLE Youth Transition Toolkit which is designed to educate parents, caregivers and disability youth service providers on the benefits and use of ABLE accounts. 
  2. The Internal Revenue Service co-presented information with the ABLE National Resource Center in a February 6, 2024 webinar on how ABLE account owners can increase their ABLE savings and qualify for tax incentives now and in the future. 

Other NDI Webinars of Interest
On Thursday, March 21, 2024 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET, the American Dream Employment Network will hold the webinar, “SSA Disability Benefits and Work Incentives,” to encourage people with disabilities who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to work to their fullest ability. If you or a friend or loved one has a disability and chooses to work, employment may allow you to save more in an ABLE account for yourself or a loved one. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Register today!  


Top 3 ABLE Questions

1. If my disability began after age 26, but my condition is on Social Security’s Compassionate Allowance List, am I eligible to open an ABLE account?   

At this time, only a person who has a disability that began before age 26 is eligible to open an ABLE account. On 1/1/2026, the age to be eligible increases to before age 46. So, if your disability began before age 46, you will be eligible to open an account at that time.  

An ABLE account may be opened at any age and a person who does not receive SSI or SSDI benefits may be eligible. However, they would need to ask their doctor to sign a disability certification, indicating that their disability began before age 26. They would keep the signed disability certification with other important records in case it is needed in the future.  

2. Do the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or State ABLE plans maintain lists of items or services that are “qualified disability expenses” (QDE) which can be paid from the ABLE account? 

The ABLE regulations fall under the jurisdiction of the IRS and they only provide a listing of “categories” of QDEs: education; housing; transportation; employment training and support; assistive technology and related services; personal support services; health, prevention and wellness; financial management, administrative services, legal fees; and basic living expenses. No comprehensive, universal list exists. You will see the same categories in the SSA policy manual, in other policies of federally-funded benefit programs, and on the state ABLE plan websites. 

What is important is being aware that the expense must relate to improving the health, independence or quality of life of the person with the disability. QDEs are not limited to items for which there is medical necessity. If you are unsure whether something is a QDE, non-ABLE funds should be used to pay for the expense. Maintaining good records and receipts is also important in case there are questions or a review. QDEs are not meant to supplement, but not replace benefits or services provided under other government programs. 

3. Do I have to pay taxes on the money in my ABLE account? 

The money contributed into your ABLE account has already been taxed and it grows taxfree. If you withdraw money, and use it for qualified disability expenses, there are no taxes on it or on the growth! Because of this great feature, some account owners use their ABLE account as a retirement account because, unlike some other types of retirement accounts, it grows taxfree! 


Ascensus administers 22 ABLE plans across the nation. Explore their insights on the ABLE plans, the types of savers that benefit and read about ABLE savings trends including the average Ugift amount, the percentage of automated contributions, account balances broken down by age of account owner and more!  

MyFICO, a type of credit score, shared the ABLE account as a way for eligible people with disabilities to save to build wealth and financial security. They included the ABLE National Resource Center, the leading “go to” source of independent information on ABLE accounts. The ABLE account can be used to pay bills on time which helps to enhance the credit score. To learn more about a credit score, and how it and an ABLE account can help to forge a path towards a more secure financial future, visit the National Disability Institute Financial Resilience Center. 

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) updated and published FR-6410-N-01 on January 30, 2024 in the Federal Register. This notice identifies Federally Mandated Exclusions from income for purposes of determining eligibility or benefits in a HUD program. It states that any amount in the ABLE account, distributions from the account and certain contributions to the account as described in Notice PIH 2019-09/H 2019-06 or subsequent or superseding notices are excluded from income and assets.  

ANCOR, a community of service providers for people with disabilities, produces the podcast, Links. In recognition of Poverty Awareness Month, in January 2024, ANCOR invited ABLE NRC to talk about ABLE accounts and how they can be used to advance a better economic future for people with disabilities. Listen in at Combating Economic Restraints for People with Disabilities (w/ Jody Ellis) | ANCOR. 

The University of Tennessee Knoxville is seeking participants for an ABLE study. If you, or someone you know, currently receives SSI and has a disability that occurred before 26 years old, and you are interested in participating in the study, please take a three question survey to see if you qualify.

ABLE by the Numbers

Quarterly ABLE (529A) Data as of December 2023: 162,969 accounts invested $1.741 billion in assets in ABLE accounts! Thank you to Paul Curley and ISS Market Intelligence for this data!