How could an ABLE account help my special needs child?

Federal assistance programs such as SSI, SSDI and Medicaid often play a critical component in enabling people with disabilities to receive necessary care, services and treatment. However, these programs have strict eligibility thresholds.

These thresholds can create a quandary for parents of children with special needs who are trying to plan for the future. On one hand, parents want to set money aside for their child, to ensure that he or she will be able to afford to meet his or her needs and live a comfortable life. On the other hand, parents do not want to take actions that could jeopardize their child’s eligibility for essential assistance programs.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act created a special type of savings account that may offer a solution to this dilemma.

How does an ABLE account work?

Qualifying individuals or their representatives can open a Florida ABLE account online. Anyone may contribute to the account, although the total amount of contributions cannot exceed $15,000 per year. The money in the account accrues tax-free interest. The account holder can withdraw the money without penalty to use for qualified expenses, such as housing, medical care, transportation or education. Perhaps most importantly, up to $100,000 is exempt for Medicaid eligibility purposes.

Who qualifies for an ABLE account?

To open a Florida ABLE account, a person must be a Florida resident and must have developed a qualified disability before his or her 26th birthday.

A Florida ABLE account is an excellent tool that allows people with disabilities to save for the future without sacrificing their eligibility for other programs.

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