The ABLE Act and CalABLE
What is CalABLE?
California Achieving a Better Life Experience (CalABLE) is a new program that allows people with disabilities to establish tax advantaged accounts and save up to $100,000 without losing public benefits such as SSI, SSDI and Medi-Cal.
Am I qualified?
To qualify, you must be diagnosed with a disability before age 26 and meet one of the following criteria:
1. Be entitled to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because of your disability.
2. Be able to provide “self-certification” of your disability and diagnosis. This means you must have a written, signed diagnosis from a licensed physician which must be available upon request.
How does it work?
Any person with a qualifying disability can open an account and contribute up to $15,000 per year with a $100,000 account maximum.” Financial contributions to the account can be made by family, friends or the individual with the disability. This money accumulates tax free as long as the funds are spent on a “qualified expense.”
What are “qualified expenses”?
You can withdraw money from the account for any expense that relates to the person’s disability and helps them maintain or improve their health, independence or quality of life. This includes: daily living expenses, transportation, housing, wellness, legal expenses, financial services, among others.
How do I open an account?
ABLE accounts are scheduled to become available in California in 2018.
They are already available in a few other states including, Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon , Tennessee and Virginia. Out of state residents can open accounts in other states, but California residents should research them thoroughly as each state has different rules, fees etc. You can compare different states ABLE programs at this website: http://ablenrc.org/state_compare/.