Tax: Mississippi Opens Qualified ABLE Program

In June, Mississippi opened a new Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with ABLE programs to 43. The program is open to all eligible individuals nationwide. It has six investment options and a checking option with a debit card. The program has a quarterly maintenance fee of $15 with a $3.75 discount for opting to receive statements via email and a $1.25 discount for Mississippi residents. Asset-based fees for investment options range from 0.34% to 0.38%. More information about state implementation of the ABLE Act can be found here.

Tax/Housing: HUD Issues Guidance on Treatment of ABLE Accounts

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued long-awaited guidance clarifying that funds in ABLE accounts should not be included in determining a person’s eligibility for means-tested housing assistance. ABLE accounts are available to people with significant disabilities that developed before the age of 26, including those who meet the eligibility requirements under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security disability programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Money in an ABLE account can be used to cover “qualified disability expenses,” such as housing, education, and transportation. In general, to be eligible for some public benefits that many people with disabilities and their families rely on, including Medicaid and housing assistance, an individual is limited to no more than $2,000 in cash savings, retirement funds, and other items of significant value. ABLE accounts are an option for people with disabilities to build savings without taking away their eligibility for these important benefits.

The ABLE Act states that amounts in an ABLE account or contributions to an ABLE account and pay-outs for qualified disability expenses should not be counted for federal means-tested programs. Consistent with Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration policy, the HUD notice clarifies that, for the purpose of determining eligibility and continued occupancy for a list of key HUD programs, HUD will disregard amounts in the individual’s ABLE account. Some people with disabilities and their families have heard confusing or inaccurate information about whether or not participation in ABLE could threaten their receipt of other critical federal benefits. The notice is good news for people in HUD-funded programs and should be helpful in addressing questions about the treatment of ABLE account funds.

Tax Policy: ABLE Age Adjustment Act Reintroduced in House

On March 18, Representatives Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Michael Turner (R-OH), Max Rose (D-NY), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) reintroduced the ABLE Age Adjustment Act (H.R.1814). This bill amends the Stephen J. Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act to increase the maximum age of onset limit from before 26 to before 46. Its companion bill, S.651, was introduced in the Senate on March 5. The Arc supports the ABLE Age Adjustment Act.

Tax Policy: ABLE Age Adjustment Act Reintroduced

On March 5, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Pat Roberts (R-KS) reintroduced the ABLE Age Adjustment Act (S.651). This bill amends the Stephen J. Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act to increase the maximum age of onset limit from before 26 to before 46. The Arc supports the ABLE Age Adjustment Act.

Tax: California Opens Qualified ABLE Program

In December, California opened a new Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with ABLE programs to 42. The program is open to all eligible individuals nationwide. It has three investment options and a savings option. The program has an annual maintenance fee of $37 and an additional $10 annual fee for those selecting paper statements. Asset-based fees for investments options range from 0.52% to 0.54%. More information about state implementation of the ABLE Act can be found here.

Tax Policy – Arkansas Opens Qualified ABLE Program

Arkansas recently opened a new Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with ABLE programs to 41. The program is open to all eligible individuals nationwide. It has three investment options and a cash option. The program has a quarterly maintenance fee of $15 with a $3.75 discount for opting to receive statements via email, and monthly asset-based fees ranging from 0.34% to 0.38% depending on the investment option chosen. There is an additional $1.25 discount for Arkansas residents. More information about state implementation of the ABLE Act can be found here.

Tax Policy – Washington Opens Qualified ABLE Programs

On July 23, the State of Washington opened a new Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with ABLE programs to 40. The program is currently only open to Washington residents. It has three investments options and a cash option. Accounts have a $35 annual fee with an additional $10 fee for those who receive paper statements, and asset-based fees ranging from 0.30% to 0.38% for investment options. More information about state implementation of the ABLE Act can be found here.

Tax Policy – Delaware, New Jersey Open Qualified ABLE Programs

Last month, Delaware and New Jersey opened new Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) programs. There are now a total of 39 jurisdictions with qualified ABLE programs. Both programs are open to all eligible individuals nationwide. Both have six investment options and a checking option with a debit card. Their minimum initial deposit is $25. The programs have a quarterly maintenance fee of $15 with a $3.75 discount for opting to receive statements via email, and monthly asset-based fees ranging from 0.34% to 0.38% depending on the investment option chosen. Delaware’s program has an additional $1.25 quarterly discount for state residents. More information about state implementation of the ABLE Act can be found here.

Tax Policy – Oklahoma Opens Qualified ABLE Program

Oklahoma recently opened a new ABLE program, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with ABLE programs to 37. The program is currently only open to Oklahoma residents. It has five investment options. Accounts have a $3.50 monthly maintenance fee and asset-based fees ranging from 0.19% to 0.33% for investment options. The minimum initial deposit is $50. More information about state implementation of the ABLE Act can be found here.

Tax Policy – Texas Opens Qualified ABLE Program

Texas recently opened a new ABLE program, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with ABLE programs to 36. The program is currently only open to Texas residents. It has four investment options. Accounts have a $4 monthly maintenance fee and asset-based fees ranging from 0.25% to 0.39% for investment options. The minimum initial deposit is $50, and the minimum amount for subsequent deposits is $25. More information about state implementation of the ABLE Act can be found here. General information about ABLE programs can be found in the National Policy Matters: ABLE Accounts for People with Disabilities here.