Christene (Chris) Krupa Downs
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Expanded Access To ABLE Accounts May Mean Increased Benefits For People With Disabilities

Christene Krupa DownsReviewsout of 7 reviews
Christene “Chris” Krupa Downs
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A recent $1.7 trillion federal benefits spending bill has increased access to ABLE accounts for millions of people. The bill includes bringing more funding to special education and expanding access to ABLE accounts.

One of the measures proposed in the bill is to increase the age eligibility limit for ABLE accounts. ABLE accounts are a specific savings account that permits people with disabilities access to more funds without jeopardizing their state and federal benefits eligibility. ABLE was established in 2014 and, until now, was limited to individuals whose disabilities began before they turned 26. Now, though, the eligibility will expand to people whose disabilities presented by age 46, starting in 2026.

The age cap increase means an additional 6.2 million people will become eligible to participate in ABLE account savings. This measure is a triumph for disability advocates lobbying for broader eligibility for people with disabilities. Increasing the number of ABLE accounts can help ensure the program is sustainable.

Contribution Limits On ABLE Accounts

The minimum amount to open an ABLE account is $50, and any subsequent contributions must be at least $25. Any person, including the recipient’s friends and family or entity, such as a trust, corporation, or other legal entity, may contribute to an individual’s ABLE account. These contributions are made with post-tax money and will not be deductible from the giver’s federal income tax returns.

The total contributions to an ABLE account may not exceed $17,000 annually, with a lifetime contribution limit of $500,000. However, a lower lifetime contribution limit of $310,000 is usually applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) purposes to determine the individual’s eligibility for government benefits and assistance.

The expanded contribution under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permits individuals to take advantage of the expanded contribution limits if the account holder is a working individual (part-time or full-time).

Because an ABLE account is not counted as an asset for government benefits eligibility, beneficiaries may enjoy a better quality of life without losing their valuable health and other benefits.

ABLE Accounts In Texas

Texas ABLE, the Texas Achieving a Better Life Experience program, is intended to assist and encourage people with disabilities and their families to pay for many disability-related needs through investment funds in the ABLE account. These expenses may not be covered by the benefits but will help enhance the quality of life for the account holder and provide greater independence.

The Texas Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board administers the program, assisted by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Texas ABLE limits the type of expenses that can be paid from the invested and saved funds in a Texas ABLE account, referred to as Qualified Disability Expenses:

  • Expenses must have been incurred while the account holder was eligible for an ABLE account
  • Related to the account holder’s disability
  • Must aid the beneficiary in improving or maintaining their health, quality of life, or independence

Money contributed to a Texas ABLE account may be invested into one of four Managed Allocation Options or one Bank Savings Account Option. Contributions may be allocated to more than one area.

Establishing An ABLE Account For Your Loved One

Do you need help establishing an ABLE account for your loved one with a disability, or are you unsure how to get the most out of ABLE account savings? Always look for a legal team that is compassionate and highly professional to help navigate this process.

Understanding the restrictions of an ABLE account can be a challenging task. Let a professional attorney guide you to ensure you get the maximum benefits for your loved one. Contact a legal professional today to learn more about ABLE accounts in Texas.

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