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New Expansion on ABLE Eligibility
Published February 10, 2023
This past December, Congress approved the ABLE Age Adjustment Act which expands eligibility for ABLE accounts by increasing the qualifying disability age from 26 to 46. This allows more individuals with disabilities to work and save money without the risk of losing government benefits.
What is an ABLE Account?
ABLE accounts are named after the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act. The accounts allow individuals with disabilities to save and pay for different expenses, including housing, education, transportation and other expenses. These accounts are designed to not disqualify an individual from government entitlement programs including disability-related Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. Generally, there are asset limitations to be eligible for needs-based programs. However, ABLE accounts are not considered in determining an individual’s eligibility for government benefits.
Currently, 46 states and Washington D.C. offer ABLE accounts and many programs accept out-of-state participants. An estimated eight million people are eligible for ABLE accounts and at the end of 2022, there were about 134,000 ABLE accounts with over $1.18 billion in assets.
The ABLE Age Adjustment Act
The ABLE Age Adjustment Act increases the onset of a qualifying disability from before 26 to 46 years old and will take effect on January 1, 2026. Prior to the age expansion, ABLE accounts are currently limited to those who became disabled before the age of 26.
Now, individuals who are diagnosed with a disability later in life can become eligible. The expansion allows an estimated six million more people to qualify for ABLE accounts.
How much can be contributed to an ABLE Account?
A maximum of $17,000 can be contributed to the accounts for 2023. If an individual works and owns an ABLE account, an additional $13,590 may be contributed, subject to certain conditions. The maximum account balance allowed under New York ABLE accounts is $520,000, except if the individual is an SSI recipient, then the maximum amount is $100,000.
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