Disability, SSI

Celebrating the Fifth Anniversary of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act

December 19, 2019 • By

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Last Updated: March 17, 2021

The National Association of State Treasurers created this guest blog 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 Association of State Treasurers or its services.

This month, marks the passage of the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014, a law that aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities.

How can ABLE Help?

ABLE accounts allow people with disabilities that began before age 26 to save and invest private funds without losing eligibility for essential federal government benefits programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, and housing benefits. Earnings and withdrawals on ABLE accounts are tax-free, if used for qualified disability-related expenses

ABLE accounts can help people with disabilities build financial wellness.  In the last five years, ABLE accounts have helped beneficiaries with disabilities achieve greater financial independence:

  • Since the program launched in 2016, people with disabilities and their families have saved more than $300 million to help cover disability-related expenses in ABLE plans offered by 42 states and the District of Columbia.
  • ABLE account savings are exempt from the SSI resource limit up to $100,000. When the balance exceeds that, SSI benefits are suspended until the account balance goes below $100,000.
  • ABLE account owners enjoy the convenience of checking account or debit card savings options to meet regular expenses and some owners save for a rainy day or invest for the future.

As Chairperson of the ABLE Committee of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST), I lead a national effort to foster the growth of ABLE plans and increase access to ABLE accounts for more people with disabilities and their families.

As we celebrate this important milestone for ABLE, I invite you to learn more about the program by visiting the NAST website.




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About the Author

Michael Frerichs

Michael Frerichs is serving his second term as Treasurer of the State of Illinois and is Chair of the National Association of State Treasurers ABLE “Achieving a Better Life Experience” Committee. Under Treasurer Frerichs’ leadership, Illinois leads the National ABLE Alliance, a 17-member state consortium that represents approximately one-quarter of the ABLE-account eligible population nationwide.


  1. Amanda

    The bill plans to ease budgetary strains looked by people with inabilities by making tax-exempt bank accounts accessible to cover qualified costs, for example, training, lodging and custom assignment help UK transportation. The bill supplements, however doesn’t replace, benefits gave through private protections, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security salary program, the recipient’s business and different sources.

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  8. Mr T.

    My claimed benefits of retirement plan.gov pay on ,my 66 age birth year 1954 for duty time receive my benefit of retirement pay on!

  9. tony

    Almost all the States uses the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment for their workers compensation claim. This guide is used by doctors for evaluation of permanent impairment and not permanent disability. Some states may call it a permanent disability, but the guide clearly states that it is used for evaluation of permanent impairment.

    The American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment defines disability which is assessed by nonmedical means, as an alternation of an individual’s capacity to meet personal, social, or occupational demands or statutory or regulatory requirements. Social Security disability is a statutory and regulatory requirements. The determination of disability is reserved for the SSA commissioner.

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  10. Melissa A.

    I’m very happy to know that there are people who are fighting for the rights of the ones who are afflicted by conditions not of their choices! I am one of those who was born with a category 1 disability that, ultimately, forced me to become a burden on society. I was brought up with a strong work ethic and it kills me to not be able to hold a job long enough to support myself; worst of all, to have the people who put their faith and trust in me when they hire me have the very rude awakening that I want and try with all my might to be the asset I set out to be…only to have my illness dash it to smithereens!

    So thank you very much for fighting for people like me who don’t want to be like this–we have no choice!

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