Understanding ABLE Programs & How You Can Benefit

We know that many within our community have long been advocating for and following the passage of The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act and subsequent IRS rules and state implementation. In June, the first state ABLE programs launched with the initiation of Ohio’s STABLE program. At PPMD’s Connect Conference in June, I provided updates and answered questions about the ABLE program; that information can be found here for those who weren’t in attendance.

The exciting launch of the Ohio, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Florida State ABLE programs, yielded many questions about how to open an account, whether you can open an account in a state other than where you reside, and who is even eligible.

Last week, the ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) held a webinar featuring representatives from each of the recently launched ABLE programs to assist help potential ABLE participants, their families, and all other ABLE stakeholders (that’s YOU) in navigating these programs. While we shared information about the webinar, we also wanted to provide our community with some of the most important highlights.


Some of the topics covered in last week’s webinar included:

  • Learning the enrollment process of each program
  • Learning the fees associated with each program
  • Learning the investment opportunities offered with each program
  • Identifying how those differences may affect which program best meets your specific needs

The major takeaways included:

  • You can open a program (account) in any state that has a program that is enrolling nationwide, but are limited to only one account.
  • Assets will be disregarded in determining eligibility for most federal disability benefit eligibility programs.
  • Beneficiary is the account owner.
  • Total annual contributions currently $14,000 (gift tax contribution).
  • Eligibility criteria:
    • Disability age of onset prior to age of 26
    • Severity – must meet disability requirement for SSI or SSDI
      • If you do not receive SSI or SSDI, you can go through disability certification with physician’s support (as outlined in the ABLE Act)

States, Up Close

Nebraska Plan at a Glance: enABLE

  • National Enrollment: Yes
  • State Income Tax Deductions to Residents: Yes
  • Initial Minimum Contribution: $50, $25 (if AIP or payroll deduction is selected)
  • Annual Fee: $45, charged per quarter at $11.25
  • Debit card: available in fall
  • How to enroll:
    • Visit website and select enroll feature through website
    • Download & submit form (ie if being submit by power of attorney)
    • Call Call Center to be walked through Enrollment process


Ohio’s Program at a Glance: stABLE

  • Nation’s first program to launch
  • Stableaccount.com
  • Currently have enrollees from 40+ states
  • National enrollment: Yes
  • Debit card (STABLE card): Yes
  • Enrollment fee: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee $2.50/month (OH resident); $5/month non-OH resident
  • Minimum Contribution: $50 ($1 minimum contribution after that)
  • Withdraw fee: $0
  • STABLE Call Center: 1-800-439-1653 


Tennessee’s Program at a Glance: ABLE TN

  • No application fees
  • No withdrawal fees
  • No maximum number of withdrawals
  • No pre-paid card
  • ABLE.TN@th.gov
  • www.ABLETN.gov
  • ABLE Update August – Part II


Florida’s Program at a Glance: Florida United

  • Residency requirement – must be Florida resident
  • No application fee
  • No minimun contribution
  • $2.50/month fee - waived until July 2017
  • Electronic contributions minimum $25


***No roll-over Fee for any of these programs if you open an account in one of these states and decide to move the account later***


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