In Missouri, parents of disabled children will soon have another tool for helping plan for their kids’ financial future. Missouri is among a handful of states that plan to make ABLE accounts available sometime this year.
ABLE stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience. Signed into federal law late in 2014, ABLE accounts allow individuals to put investments aside for eligible disability-related expenses, while not having to pay taxes on earnings from those investments. Even better, most beneficiaries will be able to have up to $100,000 in their ABLE account without becoming disqualified for Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and other government benefits.
As the Chicago Tribune explains, to qualify for an ABLE, an individual must be a minor or adult who became blind or developed a severe physical or mental disability before turning 26. Anyone who fits that profile and has already been approved for SSI or Social Security Disability Income automatically qualifies for an ABLE account.
The owner of the account can be a parent or guardian authorized to make decisions on the disabled person’s behalf. They can put up to $14,000 in contributions per year in the ABLE.
Missourians will soon be able to open an ABLE in their home state, but you will not need to be a resident of a state with an ABLE program to quality for one. In December, Congress amended the tax law to allow people to open an ABLE from any state.
The SSI program provides need-based benefits for people who cannot work due to a disability, as well as parents of disabled children. For more information, please contact a Social Security Disability attorney.