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On December 19th, 2014 the President signed into law the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, aimed at reducing financial burdens for people with disabilities and their families by providing them access to tax-saving 529 Education Savings Plans, called 529-ABLE Accounts.

While there will be a delay while each state sets up and begins to operate these accounts, the passage of the Act means that soon people with disabilities and their families will be able to set aside funds (up to $14,000 per year) for disability-related expenses to supplement insurance and other benefits. Importantly, money set aside in these funds, up to $100,000, will be excluded from the income and assets calculations which are used to determine eligibility for federal benefits such as SSI. Also, Medicaid benefits eligibility will not be impacted by funds saved in an ABLE account. States will have to determine asset/income eligibility with respect to ABLE Accounts for other state benefits which do not include federal funds.

Eligible individuals must have a condition that occurred before age 26. We strongly encourage people who are blind/visually impaired and families of children who are blind/visually impaired to consult their tax advisers about the financial planning benefits and implications of the ABLE Act and 529-ABLE Accounts.

Stay tuned to AFB's Policy Center and FamilyConnect for future updates on this and other important topics for families!

Read the text of the ABLE Act.

Questions? Email Rebecca Sheffield, Senior Policy Researcher, at

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