Happy Friday everybody! In an earlier blog I mentioned the fact that there are a handful of programs out there to help persons with disabilities maintain a greater sense of financial independence, without losing access to necessary benefits that they wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise (think, “crippling medical debt or housing expenses”.) In the past it was extremely difficult, if not impossible, to save for one’s family future without breaking any of the income disclosure requirements for SSI and SSDI.
However, now, there is a state sponsored vehicle for not only saving, but also actually investing and growing your money. It is called an “ABLE” account. ABLE stands for “Achieving and Better Life Experience”, and it is similar to a 529 college savings plan. Plan participants or their family can contribute up to $14,000 per year, with the money growing tax free. And qualified withdrawals can be made, also tax free. Unlike the 529 plan however, qualified withdrawals cover housing, transportation, employment training and personal support services. And an individual can have up to $100,000 in their ABLE account before it has any effect on their benefits! Plans can be started in as little as 10 minutes and for as little as $25. It’s very user friendly and the website runs you through the whole thing!
To be eligible for an ABLE account, you or the beneficiary must:
- Have a disability or blindness that developed before the age of 26 that will last, or has lasted at least a year;
- Live in the state of Oregon; and
- Confirm one of the following:
- Are eligible for SSI or SSDI because of a disability;
- Experience blindness as determined by the Social Security Act; or
- Can produce a signed diagnosis form by a licensed physician if requested.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in checking out, more information can be found at; http://oregonablesavings.com/how-it-works/ or by calling Oregon ABLE Monday through Friday, at 1-844-999-2253 from 9am-5pm PT or 1-844-888-2253 (TTY) from 6am-5pm PT.
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