ABLE Account Decision Guide Series

Understanding ABLE Accounts, Special Needs Trusts and Pooled Trusts

Do you receive SSI or other means tested benefits?

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Do you: (1) plan to save more than your resource limit ($2,000 for an individual); and/or (2) have a reduced SSI payment because you are not paying your full share of household expenses; or (3) have a reduced SSI payment because you receive money from someone to help you with your expenses?

  • Yes - An ABLE account may be the best option for you to save extra funds or for family and friends to deposit money to help you. You can save more than the resource limit of $2,000 in an ABLE account. Up to $100,000 in the account is not counted as a resource for SSI recipients. Others may contribute to the account to help you with expenses or saving without it counting as “income” which reduces your SSI payment. If the ABLE account is used to pay for your food or shelter expenses, your SSI payment is not reduced due to “in kind support and maintenance.”
    • If your SSI payment is reduced because your SNT or PT is paying for food or shelter expenses, your SNT or PT can deposit funds into your ABLE account and the deposit will not count as income if you pay for these expenses from your ABLE account. Notify SSA of this change so that they may consider increasing your SSI payment.
  • No - Even though you plan to save less than the resource limit, or even if you pay your share of household expenses, saving money in an ABLE account is an option for you. ABLE funds may be invested within the account and investment growth is tax-free.

Saving money in your ABLE account will not affect benefits which are not means-tested. You may deposit up to the contribution limit each year. If you are employed, you may be able to deposit even more under the ABLE to Work Act. Your total ABLE account balance can be up to the state limit for 529 accounts which varies from state to state. You can find this amount by using our comparison tools and clicking on the state where you established your ABLE account. If you see higher total limits in other states and, if you like the other features or lower costs with that program, you may open an account in the new state through an ABLE-to-ABLE transfer or rollover. You may do this once per year. You may have only one ABLE account.

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Note: Our ABLE Decision Guide Series is designed as an aid to decision making as it relates to establishing and using an ABLE account. This document does not cover every possible issue related to the topic and is not a substitute to more in-depth analysis that may be required in some cases.