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ABLE savings accounts for disabled kids

ABLE savings account: Tax benefits for those with disabilities

Updated: August 23, 2023 · 5 Minute Read

Christina Ardel

Reviewed by:

Christina Ardel, MA, BCBA, Clinical Care Coordinator at Stanford Medicine and ESPA

Highlights

  • Money saved in an ABLE account does not affect your child's disability benefits (your child can have up to $100,000 in an ABLE account and maintain eligibility).
  • The cost to establish an ABLE account can be a lot less than a special needs trust, but for some families it makes sense to have both.

ABLE savings accounts help support your children in adulthood. Money in these accounts can help your child pay for expenses such as housing, transportation, health care, education, and other expenses when they get older.

 

2 significant advantages to ABLE Accounts

  • Public benefit eligibility: When your child becomes an adult, they must hold less than $2,000 in savings to be eligible for public benefits such as SSI. Money saved in an ABLE account does not affect eligibility for these benefits (your child can have up to $100,000 in an ABLE account and maintain eligibility).
  • Tax benefits: Income earned by the account is not taxed and contributions to the account may be tax-deductible.

 

A parent’s perspective about ABLE savings accounts

Regina, the mother of two young children with developmental differences, shares why she opened an ABLE account:

 

I am saving for both of my children’s futures. I want my son and daughter to be able to live a comfortable life in their own homes when they are ready to be independent. I want to make sure they have the opportunity for reliable transportation to medical appointments and jobs. I also hope this will provide them the opportunity to travel, learn or take part in extracurricular activities.”

 

What to expect when setting up your child's ABLE account

  1. Enroll. Click here to enroll in your state’s ABLE program.
  2. Prove eligibility. You will need a letter from a licensed physician confirming your child has significant functional limitations.
  3. Start saving to contribute to the account. Parents, friends, and your child can all contribute.

 

More ABLE account and financial resources

  • Check out these articles for myths and FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about ABLE accounts.
  • In addition to an ABLE account, consider opening up a special needs trust. The cost to establish an ABLE account can be a lot less than a special needs trust, but for some families it makes sense to have both. To create a trust, it’s best to work with a financial planner. You can find one by searching for “Special Needs Financial Planners” in the Beaming Directory.

 

If you need more support and resources, set up a personalized step-by-step guide for free. The Beaming Health Action Plans were created with the help of over 100 parents, clinical professionals, special education advocates, and social workers to help families like yours.