There’s been a recent development in who can set up and use an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account.
Since the ABLE Act was passed and signed into being in 2014 by President Obama it has allowed individuals with disabilities to set up tax-free savings accounts that allow them to spend the savings on anything that’s even vaguely related to their disability. More crucially, these ABLE accounts are not considered ‘countable’ resources and so has finally provided those on SSI an easier option to keep their eligibility and save more than the pathetically low $2000 resource limit.
One of the catches with the ABLE Act is that is has only been available to those whose disabilities began before the seemingly arbitrary age of 26. That last barrier to entry has rankled many but there is some good news that came out at the end of the year. Congress has passed a ruling that will extend the age of eligibility to 46. So, anyone who became disabled before that later age will be able to sign up for the account.
Tediously enough, there still remains a catch. That age increase will only come into effect in January 2026. Until then, someone on SSI who became disabled at 27 say, will have to remain in crushing poverty or go through the lengthy and not inexpensive process of setting up a special needs trust.