Tuesday, January 2, 2018

NY ABLE program helps persons with disabilities cover costs

Local residents may be eligible to sign up for a new savings plan, called the New York Achieving a Better Life Experience (NY ABLE) program, designed to help individuals with disabilities maintain their health, independence and quality of life.

The NY ABLE legislation was signed into law in December 2015. It allows New Yorkers with disabilities to save money in their own names without risking their Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and certain other means-based benefits. NY ABLE accounts, also known as 529A accounts, can be opened with a minimum contribution of $25. Contributions can be made by eligible individuals, family members or friends, but are not tax-deductible. The annual contribution is capped at $14,000 and the maximum account balance is $100,000.

The annual contribution cap will be increased to $15,000 as of January 2018. Earnings and distributions are tax free provided the funds are used for qualified disability expenses. To be eligible, an individual must have a disability that was present before age 26. Participants must be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), be blind, have a significant disability documented by a physician, or have a disability that is included on the Social Security Administration's Compassionate Allowances Conditions list. New York residency is required and only one account per individual is permitted.

For more information on eligibility, or to set up an account, click here.