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Question for readers with disabilities: Are you ABLE-eligible?

| Feb 2, 2017 | Social Security Disability

First things first: an ABLE account is a way for people with disabilities (and their families) to save money. The income from an account is not taxed and does not decrease assistance from programs such as Social Security Disability.

So are you or a loved one with a significant disability eligible to start an ABLE account? If the person in question had the onset of disability before their 26th birthday and you have been determined to be eligible for SSDI or SSI, you are automatically eligible, says the ABLE National Resource Center on its website.

If you don’t receive SSDI or SSI, you can still be eligible, the organization says, if you meet the age-onset requirement.

The ABLE National Resource Center says there are some myths it wants to dispel about the accounts, including the myth that a person must be under age 26 to have one of the accounts. That is simply not so. The age requirement is for the onset of the disability, not for the person’s current age.

Pretty straightforward, really. A 50-year-old could be eligible if their disability onset was before they turned 26.

Another myth: the only person who can put money into an ABLE account is the beneficiary. Wrong. Anyone can contribute, including family, friends and the person with the disability.

Yet another myth: any amount can be deposited in an ABLE account. Wrong. The accounts are limited to $14,000 per tax year. Note: the account balance can go all the way up to $100,000 before SSDI benefits would be cut.

Of course, for many people with disabilities, the highest priority is to get SSDI benefits. That can be a difficult task. Far too often, legitimate claims are denied. But with the help of an experienced law firm, you can appeal the denial.

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