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    • #12114
      Kathleen Sheffer

      Last week I brought up the issue I’m dealing with as an Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient: not being allowed to retain assets over $2,000. This makes it impossible for me to save money so that I might eventually stop receiving assistance.

      However, over the weekend I learned about ABLE Accounts, which are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families. The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (aka the ABLE Act) enables eligible individuals to make annual contributions up to $15,000 to an untaxed account to invest and save for qualified disability expenses. It’s similar to a 401(k) account, but there’s no penalty for withdrawing the money early — in fact, you can immediately use the funds for qualified expenses, which include housing.

      You can have up to $100,000 in your ABLE account and keep getting SSI benefits. If you go over $100,000, SSI benefits will stop, but if your ABLE account drops back below $100,000 they will start up again without reapplying. I’m looking into this option for my own savings. I wonder if anyone else has considered this or has started using an ABLE Account? Any drawbacks you anticipate?

    • #12120
      Brittany Foster

      Hi Kathleen,
      I have SSDI which we both know if different from SSI because SSI goes off of the assets. I didn’t qualify because I had too many assets and too much in my savings account. I actually have never heard of this ABLE Account before but it’s definitely something I would be interested in hearing more about. Just living off of SSDI alone and my babysitting job is so hard ! I feel like the maximum for SSDI here in Rhode Island just is not sufficient at all! Do you have SSDI? Do they allow you to work to a certain extent ?

      • #12122
        Kathleen Sheffer

        To clarify, the ABLE account is for people with disabilities receiving assistance, including SSDI. I was not eligible for SSDI because I have had a permanent disability from birth and did not accrue work credits before becoming disabled. I think the maximum for SSI is even less than for SSDI, but you are able to earn more income – up to $30,000 annually while retaining Medicaid (insurance is all I care about).

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