In Special Needs News

Young mechanic who uses a wheelchair and wears goggles turns a lathe in a workshop.If you are an individual with a disability who holds an ABLE account, your annual contributions to this type of account generally must not exceed $17,000 a year, as of 2023. However, ABLE account owners who are employed can contribute their work income to this type of account beyond the typical $17,000 annual threshold until the end of 2025.

What Is an ABLE Account?

ABLE accounts are a type of savings account designed for people with disabilities. They permit individuals with disabilities to save money, tax-free, without putting their means-tested public benefits at risk.

As of 2023, up to $17,000 per year can be set aside into an ABLE account. The account holder is allowed to have a total of up to $100,000 in their ABLE account and remain eligible for such assistance programs as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Under current law, individuals who became disabled before the age of 26 are eligible to open an ABLE account. Its funds can be used to cover the costs of education, assistive technology, transportation, and other items.

ABLE accounts came into effect following the 2014 passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. Several years later, an ABLE to Work provision made it possible for ABLE account owners who work to start saving more. However, the ABLE to Work Act is currently slated to expire at the end of 2025.

Who Can Benefit From the ABLE to Work Act?

If you are living with a disability and hold an ABLE account, you may benefit from the ABLE to Work Act. There are a few rules of which you should be aware.

First, if you’re contributing to your ABLE account, you cannot also contribute to your employer’s defined contribution plan (for example, a 401(k) plan).

Second, there is still a ceiling restricting exactly how much more you can add to your ABLE account beyond the $17,000 yearly limit. This ceiling could either be dictated by the federal poverty level in your state for the previous tax year, or by how much you make in the current calendar year – whichever is less.

For instance, the federal poverty level for an individual in 2022 was $13,590 in most states. If your gross income for 2023 is $15,000, this would be higher than the previous tax year’s federal poverty guideline. Taking all of this into consideration, you could set aside up to $30,590 in your ABLE account in 2023 ($17,000 + $13,590 = $30,590).

Note that your state may require you to submit a form along with your extra contributions that demonstrates you are employed and in compliance with your state’s rules. Certain states may have other requirements in place as well.

Helpful Resources

Be sure to connect with the ABLE account program in your state to learn more. You also may benefit from consulting with a qualified special needs planning attorney near you. For additional reading, take a moment to check out the following related articles:

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