Winter 2023 AchievABLE™ Newsletter

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


Jody Ellis joined the ABLE NRC team on November 27, 2023. She will be working closely with the ABLE NRC staff members Marlene, Laurie, Cheyenne and Miranda (who has a new role as the Director of ABLE Education). Jody has worked collaboratively with National Disability Institute for several years in different capacities including the Financial Integration Team Community of Practice, Real Economic Impact Network Advisory Committee and as a member agency representative with ADEN, providing employment and work support services to SSI and SSDI beneficiaries through the Ticket to Work program.  

Jody holds a master’s degree in social work and has 30 years of experience in the nonprofit industry. She held leadership roles as a service provider for people with disabilities with a focus in transition, post-secondary education and workforce services. She is also a Certified Work Incentives Practitioner. She is passionate about supporting diversity and inclusion efforts and enhancing individuals’ financial well-being. Jody is ready to promote ABLE NRC’s mission and is looking forward to learning from ambassadors, account owners/family members/and those who support them, employers and service providers about the positive impact ABLE makes. Together, let’s share how individuals can Achieve a Better Life Experience and influence change in our communities across the country.  


During this holiday season, and with a new year approaching, make a difference with a gift that can grow and be remembered throughout a lifetime. Now is the perfect time to make a gift contribution into your loved one’s ABLE account. A gift deposited directly into an ABLE account, through the ABLE plan’s gift option or through the Gift of Independence can help a person to reach their savings goals. While a gift contribution is not federally tax deductible, some states offer a state income tax deduction or credit for contributions to an ABLE account. An ABLE contribution does not impact means-tested benefits for the ABLE account owner!

The contribution limit, for calendar year 2023, is a total of $17,000 from all sources. ABLE account owners who work may meet the rules of ABLE to Work. ABLE account owners can review their account statements or contact their state plan to ask for the amount of contributions made this calendar year. If the limits have not been reached, it is a perfect time of year to ask friends and family to contribute. The ABLE plan you selected can provide you with more details.

ABLE funds are flexible and may be used for anything that enhances the health, independence and quality of life of the account owner. These items or services may be food, shelter, personal items or services, entertainment expenses, hobbies or other needs and wants. Or, the funds can be saved for a long-term goal such as a home, vehicle, assistive technology or other supports or services.

You can easily purchase the online Gift of Independence gift card from the ABLE NRC website and you can opt for a digital delivery within five minutes of the order. The gift card may be used to deposit the funds in any ABLE plan.


Youth Transition Toolkit. Register now for January 18, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. ET, as we launch the ABLE Transition Toolkit with an insightful webinar! The ABLE National Resource Center developed a Youth Transition Toolkit in partnership with the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: Collaborative (NTACT:C). The toolkit is specifically designed to educate parents, caregivers and disability youth service providers on the benefits and use of ABLE accounts.  

Learn valuable information, resources and best practices related to ABLE accounts that can be used to increase the financial health and well-being of the students and young people with disabilities.  

Tax Time Tips 2024. Register today to join ABLE NRC and Don Dill, IRS Senior Tax Analyst, SPEC Headquarters, on Tuesday, February 6th, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. ET for the “ABLE Tax Time Tips” webinar focused on how ABLE account owners can increase their ABLE savings and qualify for tax incentives now and in the future. 


Timothy EllioIn recognition of Veterans Day, the LEAD Center released the blog, “Helping Disabled Veterans with Spending and Saving Habits, written by ABLE NRC Ambassador Timothy Elliot, who is a disabled Navy Veteran. The blog explains the obstacles disabled people may face when deciding to pursue employment and how the Securing Your Financial Future toolkit helped Timothy take a hard look at his financial decisions and create the best plan for retirement. He will be teaching others, in his role as an ABLE NRC Ambassador, on how to use the different parts of the financial toolkit to gain a better understanding of how to manage their finances, including their ABLE account.



SSA Issues POMS on ABLE Accounts Used by Representative Payees. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published the current regulations to allow representative payees to establish and maintain ABLE accounts subject to SSA requirements. The new SSA Program Operations Manual System (POMS) GN 00603.041, released on October 13, 2023, provides guidance on how representative payees can use ABLE accounts following all SSA payee program rules. The rules include ABLE account titling, signature authority, use of benefits, record keeping, investing conserved funds and returning conserved funds when there is a change of payee. On a case-by-case basis, SSA may permit the former payee to transfer funds directly to the new payee or the beneficiary. 

2024 Annual Contribution Limit. The Internal Revenue Service released the 2024 tax inflation adjustments in Revenue Procedure 2023-34. This increased the annual ABLE contribution limit to $18,000 effective January 1, 2024.  

Additional contributions may be made by ABLE account owners who work and do not have contributions made to a retirement plan for the tax year under ABLE to Work. Effective January 1, 2024, the account owner’s earnings OR up to $14,580, whichever is less, may be contributed by owners who live in the continental U.S. In Alaska, it is up to $18,210 and, in Hawaii, it is up to $16,770. 


1. Can you recommend ways that I can maximize my ABLE account contributions in the new year?  

To maximize your ABLE contributions, you may want to ask yourself these questions and take appropriate action based upon your responses: 

  • Will I be able to reach the ABLE contribution limit of $18,000 in 2024? 
  • If I work and do not have an employer-sponsored retirement account, will I be able to regularly deposit earnings directly into my ABLE account, all of my earnings up to the maximum of $14,580 in 2024? If not, how much of my earnings, up to that amount, can I save? Completing a spending plan can help a person understand what their monthly income and expenses are and how much is left over to save regularly. 
  • Do I have family and friends that I can ask to contribute to my ABLE account for the holidays, special occasions or towards a specific savings goal or a one-time, big-ticket purchase? 
  • Is my employer interested in contributing to my ABLE account since I do not participate in the employer matched retirement account? Note: The IRS has advised that employer contributions to employees’ ABLE accounts are deductible for the employer. However, it is taxable income for employees and will be reflected on employees’ W-2. If I receive means-tested benefits, I know that I should check with the individual program to ask how that contribution may affect benefits. 
  • Is there a 529 college savings plan I will not be using or is there a Special Needs or Pooled Trust where the trustee can directly deposit funds into the ABLE account? 
  • Do I file a U.S. income tax return and, if so, do I take advantage of all applicable tax credits like the earned income tax credit, saver’s credit, child tax credit or others?  

If you have answered no to any of these questions, you may want to re-examine your savings strategies and take steps now to maximize your ABLE contributions for 2023 and plan now for 2024 contributions. 

2. In 2023, my nephew and members of our family contributed a total of $17,000 into my nephew’s ABLE account from his SSI benefits, gifts for his birthday, holiday and his graduation. All the monies were spent on qualified disability expenses including housing and food. Since he has used what was contributed this year, can we contribute more before the end of the calendar year? There is a small inheritance we wanted to deposit into the ABLE account, too.

No, there is no provision in the law which allows replacement funds to be contributed into the ABLE account.  

However, if your nephew is an ABLE account owner who works and does not have money deposited into a retirement account within the calendar year, he may deposit more money into an ABLE account. This is up to the ABLE account owner’s employment earnings or $13,590, whichever is less, and it is in addition to the $17,000 already contributed this year. It is more for those who live in Alaska or Hawaii. So, if your nephew works, he may be able to deposit some of his earnings and inheritance into the ABLE account to use for his qualified disability expenses which may include day-to-day expenses.  

Best practice: Deposit benefits into a checking account. Develop a monthly budget so that you know what income there is and what expenses need to be paid each month. Pay for housing, food and monthly expenses from the checking account. Deposit extra funds into the ABLE account. 

3. Can the ABLE National Resource Center recommend a specific ABLE program to open an account?

No. ABLE NRC is the leading, comprehensive source of objective, independent information about federal- and state-related ABLE programs and activities, including guidance on tax-advantaged ABLE savings accounts. We educate, promote and support the positive impact ABLE can make on the lives of millions of Americas with disabilities and their families. Our goal is to provide as much information as possible in one place so that individuals seeking information can find what they need to make their own informed decision and open an ABLE account in any state that offers ABLE programs, including the District of Columbia, which best suits their needs. We provide links to all plans so that those seeking information can find what they need easily or contact the plan(s) of their choice to ask more questions specific to that plan. 

Best Practice: We regularly update ABLE plan information. Compare and contrast the various plans at least once per year by using all or one of our comparison tools: 


  • The ABLE National Resource Center worked with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to update their Investor Bulletin: An Introduction to ABLE AccountsThe SEC included the ABLE National Resource Center, along with our parent company, National Disability Institute, on their Useful Websites webpage.
  • On October 18, 2023, Thomas Foley, Executive Director of NDI and the ABLE National Resource Center, and Eric Ochmanek, Program Director of ABLE Today, served as panelists on the Social Security Administration’s National Disability Forum on “Youth Transitioning to Adulthood and Preparing for an Age-18 Redetermination.” Both actively discussed how ABLE accounts can support transition age youth. Suggestions were offered on ways to inform youth, parents, educators and service providers about the advantages of youth opening an ABLE account and learning to manage their own money and benefits
  • The ABLE National Resource Center met with a Senior Advisor and Attorney-at-Law with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau to discuss solutions to some of the barriers facing foster care agencies and representative payees who want to open ABLE accounts for foster care youth.



In October, 2023, the ABLE National Resource Center and ACCSES were joined by the U.S. AbilityOne Commission in presenting the two-part “Ready and ABLE to Work and Save” online event in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  

The series was designed to increase employers’ and service providers’ understanding of the important role that ABLE accounts can play in supporting the employment and financial stability of working-age people with disabilities and their families. Key updates on ABLE accounts, along with strategies and tools for employers and service providers were provided and many questions were answered.  

Listen to the two-part webinar series, Ready and ABLE to Work and Save. Part 1 provided an overview and refresher on ABLE accounts with key employment-related updates, strategies and tools. Part 2 offered a “Technical Assistance Office Hour” where questions on ABLE and employment were answered live. All ABLE NRC events are posted and available as Webinars-on-Demand on the ABLE NRC website within 10 business days of the live events.