By JJ Hanley, Director, IL ABLE
Since the “Achieving a Better Life Experience” ABLE program launched in Illinois two years ago, people with disabilities have saved more than $4.5 million in their Illinois ABLE accounts for disability-related expenses.
With ABLE accounts, individuals with disabilities and their families can save money without losing or losing access to federal means-tested benefits such as SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and HUD. SSI beneficiaries who have ABLE accounts can protect their benefits because funds in ABLE accounts do not count against the $2,000 SSI asset cap.
Illinois ABLE staff is ready to answer your questions on the benefits of ABLE accounts and options available to fit your needs. Our goal is to make sure the disability community has the knowledge to make the most of ABLE accounts. A few frequently asked questions are below:
Q. What does ABLE mean?
A. ABLE stands for “Achieving a Better Life Experience” and refers to savings and investment accounts that eligible
people with disabilities can own for the purpose of financing qualified expenses. ABLE account owners can save
and invest their private funds without losing, or losing access to, federal means-tested benefits, such as SSI, SSDI
Q. Who is eligible to own an Illinois ABLE account?
A. A person with a disability is eligible to own an ABLE account if 1) the disability was present before the age of 26,
and 2) the person is entitled to receive SSI or SSDI benefits or has a similarly severe disability certified in writing
by a licensed physician. A person with a disability can open an Illinois ABLE account or an Authorized Individual
can open it on the person’s behalf by providing authorizing documentation.
Q. Can I have a Special Needs Trust (SNT) and an Illinois ABLE account?
A. Yes. An account owner can have an Illinois ABLE account AND be the beneficiary of a Special Needs Trust.
For more information on how individuals with disabilities and their families can build financial wellness and greater financial independence, please visit Illinois ABLE FAQ, call 1-888-609-8683, or visit il.savewithable.com.