Why it Matters:
Many families of children with developmental differences set up ABLE accounts to support their 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.
There are two 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: 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.”
Actions to Take:
- Enroll. Click here to enroll in your state’s ABLE program.
- Prove eligibility. You will need a letter from a licensed physician confirming your child has significant functional limitations.
- Start saving to contribute to the account. Parents, friends, and your child can all contribute.
- 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” on the Beaming Directory.