Beginning in 2018, the total annual contribution limit for ABLE accounts will increase from $14,000 to $15,000 per year. The annual contribution limit is tied to the amount of the federal gift tax exclusion which is also going up to $15,000 in 2018.

The limit applies to total contributions per ABLE account in a given year. However, despite the increase in the annual contribution limit, the limit on the total amount in an ABLE account to maintain eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) remains at $100,000. If an ABLE account goes over the $100,000 limit, SSI benefits are suspended until the account goes back below $100,000.

ABLE accounts allow disabled individuals to receive support while remaining eligible for government benefits. The term ABLE account comes from the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. Since the disabled individual is considered the owner of the account, the disabled individual can attain a certain level of independence. However, if the disabled individual cannot manage the account, a parent or legal guardian can act on their behalf.

The money in an ABLE account may be used for a wide variety of expenses that relate to the individual’s disability, including, but not limited to, education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive services, health and wellness, financial management, legal fees, and basic living expenses.

If you have questions about your ABLE account, or if you want to find out if an ABLE account is right for you or a relative, please call Martha C. Brown & Associates at (314) 962-0186.