ABLE Accounts: Building Upon the Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Approximately one in five Americans has a disability. These Americans have the same hopes and dreams to participate in society as everyone else. On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act. President Bush then said, “As the Declaration of Independence has been a beacon for people all over the world seeking freedom, it is my hope that the Americans with Disabilities Act will likewise come to be a model for the choices and opportunities of future generations around the world.”

The American with Disabilities Act requires accessibility for people with disabilities and prohibits discrimination. It extends the promise of equal opportunity and full participation for those people living with a disability.

Full participation includes the opportunity to become economically self-sufficient. Yet, millions of people with disabilities and their families depend on programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for food, housing, and other benefits. These programs are restricted to those people who have limited income, resources and savings.  Historically, to continue receiving benefits under these and other programs, you cannot save money.

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts help eligible beneficiaries save and have power over their own money. The funds in an ABLE account are not counted by most federally-funded means-tested benefit programs like Medicaid and SNAP. SSI does not count up to $100,000 in an ABLE account.

Disability-related expenses can lead to financial stress. Savings and contributions made to an ABLE account by the account owner, their family, friends, employer or other sources, can be used for emergencies or to support education and the owner’s future retirement. The funds can also be used for qualified disability expenses including food, housing and maintenance, medical expenses, and expenses related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. ABLE accounts add an additional layer of financial security, especially while navigating an uncertain future.

Over 63,000 individuals—out of an estimated eight million who are eligible—have opened ABLE accounts to date, making ABLE accounts one of the most under-used ways to save money and retain much needed benefits. For many people with disabilities, ABLE accounts have transformed their lives. Read our ABLE Ambassadors stories to learn what motivated them to take advantage of this opportunity and what advice they have for those who have not yet taken this important step.

To learn more about ABLE accounts and state ABLE programs, visit the ABLE National Resource Center (ABLE NRC), managed by National Disability Institute. The website has information on how to become ABLE ready and offers a state ABLE program comparison tool and guidance on setting financial goals. Building on the promise of the American with Disabilities Act, the ABLE Act can forever change lives by providing the opportunity to save money in an easy to open, low-cost, accessible, and tax-advantaged account.

Miranda Kennedy is the Director of the ABLE National Resource Center for the National Disability Institute.

This is a guest blog post created by the National Disability Institute to promote the use of ABLE accounts.  SSA provides this post as a courtesy to help notify the public of ABLE accounts.  SSA is not affiliated with and does not endorse the National Disability Institute or its services.

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35 thoughts on “ABLE Accounts: Building Upon the Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act

  1. I Get SSI MONTHLY. I START MEDICARE IN August and the guy that signed me up for it said that no money would come out of my monthly SSI. Social Security sent me a letter saying that They was taking $144.00 out of my monthly benefits to pay for my premium payment. I can’t afford it and want to opt out of Medicare if the premium money comes from my SSI ACCOUNT, ASAP

  2. My name is Michelle Gaut and I live in Ferndale Mi. I have been here almost Seven years coming in November.and I love it and now I am ready to move in another location like Rochester Hills to Troy Michigan and The Smart Transportation don’t go in Rochester Hills and that where I want to live but they take you Oakland University which I’d in Rochester Hills and I want to live in the Avon Towers so can you get in that area please. Thank you so much sincerely yours Michelle Gaut. Be blessed and safe.

  3. Buenas tardes, necesito contactarme con ustedes para poder ingresar a las pàginas del seguro social, ya que me encuentro en Mèxico, vivi nel en la ciudad de Zapopan y en condición mèdica delicada ya que tengo que estar conectado al oxígeno por condición EPOC. Y no me podré presentar a registrar mi super ciencia en ninguna oficina del SS en USA. Pues no puedo viajar.

    • Hi Ashok. We are sorry that you are having trouble accessing your my Social Security account. If you are locked out, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  4. I am now on total disability as i have had life’s tragic events in which im still reeling from to this present day ! At first i became unemployed in February 2018 and became involved in the most severe cybersecurity attack on the internet imaginanle trying to file for unemployment compensation in the state of Ohio ! It was approved and while trying to seek work i was interrupted night and day while on the internet ! I have complaints across the board with multiple case numbers with a DOA FTC agency as well as any other government agency you can list as well as EU Swiss and Ireland privacy officers! This is still present today and i dont even answer phone calls with being buried with fraudulent emails ,texts, messaging and robo calls Im attached to the Dayton VA center with heavy stress , panick attacks and have been diagnosed as bipolar ! I am an identity theft victim without any sort of online banking activity whatsoever ! Is this life i live as a prisoner in my own home the course of what internet thieves have served upon me a life sentence or may i have an opportunity to work on personal interests or perhaps furthering my education with online courses as an Army Veteran who worked as a toolmaker my entire life from age 16 until 2018 minus military service ! This is a sentence i surely would love to escape with some Government support My data is full of poison as well as internet accounts and i will resort to local and world media for public awareness on just how brutal these issues can be in a true reality in a Nightmare from purgatoried HELL that doesnt end Ive endured this bullshit since December 2016 with submitting first reports with the Ohio Attorney General There are legal actions i want to pursue within my constitutional rights with privacy acts and the opportunity to improve my livlihood with higher learning abilities ! Im 60 fucking years old and the wheels arent turning in motion with tick tock and time running out

  5. I need Government support as i have tried to prevent elderly people from being robbed by a pavk of thugged ass internet thieves who havent got one ounce of passion or humanity for elderly people in their 80s or 90s Ill use a complete piece of shit thief clearing out a War Hero and oldest living Vet breathing prior to his death at 109 years of age living in Texas ! Some no good piece of shit thug cleared this Army Heros checking account out in a condition to where it would have severely pissed Old Mother Hubbard off when she went to the cubbard which was buck ass naked BARE ! Corrective action needs taken 3 years ago on this serious internet issue that seems to only worsen Is this our next Wotld War after this pandemic subsides ??? CYBERSECURTY WAR and with all of thesse financial activities converging to more online structure it will certainly become a massive trainwreck unless serious ASS measures are taken immediately ! These are absolute facts with reality staring at the internet age directly in the FACE! These leaks , breaches and privacy breaks with users private data must have the fucking BRAKES APPLIED IMMEDIATELY

  6. Hello I am a disabled person I am a level 2 I have a learning disabled and a physical disabled and I have been diagnosed with TBI and PTSD I have been dealing with Division of vocational rehabilitation program for tool long and I have never been helped in fact Eric Padilla the program manager has black ball me I can’t any help from department of work force solution and judge Blackwell ruled against me for being disabled I would love to share my experience with you at this time the thing I want is money because I lost so much because I never got the help I need this a corrupt state they hire you because of who you know not what you know thank you and have a nice day

  7. I have been on disability since my accident 2002. ] have a daughter so I know longer get extra benefits for her shes at college so I’m still trying to support her. I’ve been trying to see if I qualify for any extra help. Where do I go to find out if I do qualify?

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