Spreading the News About ABLE Accounts in the Disability Community

On December 19th, 2019, the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) will be five years old. Why are we excited? Because this five-year-old has influenced 41,000 people to open ABLE accounts that can earn tax-free income.

The ABLE Act allows an estimated eight million Americans with disabilities to save money for qualified disability expenses for their short-term needs and long-term future. ABLE account holders can use the funds for qualified disability-related expenses including housing and maintenance, as well as costs related to employment, transportation, health, technology and financial and benefits planning.

Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have ABLE programs. Even if your state hasn’t established an ABLE program, you can enroll in any state’s program, if they accept out-of-state residents, which many do. State ABLE programs are managing more than $220 million in savings and investment accounts.

These ABLE savings accounts will largely not affect your eligibility for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), Medicaid and other public benefits. ABLE account owners, who are SSI beneficiaries, are no longer stuck in a life of poverty or have to face the $2,000 asset limit and be disqualified from receiving SSI benefits.

Beginning last year, the ABLE National Resource Center (ABLE NRC) established its national ABLE Ambassadors to help millions of ABLE-eligible individuals and families learn that there are ABLE account holders very similar to them. And ABLE accounts grew by almost 17 percent in the fourth quarter last year, while assets under management grew by 19 percent for the same period.

To learn about ABLE accounts and state ABLE programs, please visit the ABLE NRC at www.ablenrc.org, which is managed by the National Disability Institute. The website has information on how to become ABLE ready, a state ABLE program comparison tool and guidance on setting short- and long-term financial goals. More than one million individuals took advantage of the resources on the ABLE NRC website last year. To receive updates on the #ABLEtoSave campaign in August, sign up for the ABLE NRC listserv.

The ABLE program should not be the best-kept secret in the disability community. Help spread the word!

Michael Morris is a recognized leader on disability public policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in and outside of government working to improve the lives of people with disabilities.


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.



34 thoughts on “Spreading the News About ABLE Accounts in the Disability Community

  1. A Letter Dated: August 27,2012 Mentionned:

    No Benefits Paid. on Disability Claim

    Letter from: Social Security
    1540 Fulton Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11216
    For Further Call: 1- 800-772-1213

  2. Let me first say that I applaud the people who have worked so hard to bridge the gaps when it comes to the unjust treatment and policies towards people with disabilities. With that being said I am a 42 year old female legally blind on disability and I don’t agree with the death clause in the Able Account Disclosure that states if I die all of my savings will go to the State. For this reason alone is why I have not signed up for an Able Account. I believe the money should go to our families and the government should tax that money like any other income or inheritance.

    • Lena, I totally agree with you on your reasoning as to why you have not signed up for an Able account. I haven’t done it for the exact same reason even though I have been constantly prodded to open one. I’m glad someone besides me noticed.

    • I’m half blind half deaf I’m not sure about the able program social security Administration has refused to give me social security and I’m really not sure why I’ve got a list of health issues and I can’t work it’s crazy

  3. THANK SIR, for assistance my case retirement plan.gov pay on services of federal benefit center in Philippine!

  4. Hi,
    How do I go about opening an ABLE Account for my 6 year-old autistic son?
    Also, can they use the fund to pay for Higher Education?

    • It is not for anyone on SSD. It is for benefits that require extreme poverty so that saving money is otherwise not possible. It is also for those disabled since before age 26.

  5. I am disabled but when turned 67 I went to just regular social security. Am I able to sign up for this program

    • No, it is for those who have been disabled prior to age 26 and would otherwise be unable to save money to qualify for SSI and Medicaid, which require extremely limited assets.

  6. Are their any programs like ABLE if you are disabled and have bad credit? I know there are some things like HUD, but I mean to fix your credit when you are disabled and need help fixing credit scores. According to this article at https://www.blankslatecredit.com/credit-doesnt-matter/ families with bad credit will pay an additional $70,000 in interest on a mortgage. When disabled people can be more likely to have bad credit, where is the help?

  7. Need to get my passport released from social security office can get anybody to speak to in person plz if someone can help out willing to pay of the substantial amount I need to leave on friday

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