Living with a disability can be difficult. Not only do people face challenges related to physical abilities, the medical treatment and other therapies necessary to cope with the disability can be very expensive. When a child suffers from a severe physical or mental disability, the child’s parents are often left to bear the burden of these expenses. These expenses do not go away as the disabled individual ages, so the costs continue to accumulate.
In order to combat the expenses related to a particular disability, parents may want to try to save assets for the child to use at a later time. However, can become tricky because too many assets could threaten a disabled person’s ability to qualify for SSI — assets of more than $2,000 can disqualify a person from the program. At least before the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act.
Known as the ABLE Act, allows people to save money to pay for a disabled person’s expenses without threatening the person’s ability to qualify for SSI-related benefits. Up to $100,000 can be saved for the person. If the money is used on certain necessary expenses — like housing, medical costs and education — it is tax exempt.
The ABLE Act allows disabled individuals to have some economic freedom without losing their access to federal services. It gives them a sense of independence that is easily achieved under the current system. The ABLE Act is awaiting President Obama’s signature after being passed by Congress. Once it becomes a law, the ABLE act is going to help an estimated 170,000 people in Tennessee alone.
Disabled individuals and their families need to understand how their income, legislation, like the ABLE act, and other changes affects their SSI benefits. With the right help, people can secure the benefits they need to survive.
Source: Hartsville Vidette, “ABLE Act would help disabled save,” Jan. 7, 2015