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ABLE Accounts: Saving Strategies Compatible with SSI and SSDI Benefits

Navigating financial security is a critical factor in achieving independence for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDDs). However, managing savings while receiving benefits from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs can be a complex task. Understanding the interplay between savings and benefits is crucial for maintaining eligibility and enhancing quality of life.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act

Implemented in 2014, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, or ABLE Act, allows states to create tax-advantaged savings accounts for eligible people with disabilities. The funds in these accounts, known as 529A ABLE accounts, can be used for qualified disability expenses without affecting eligibility for federal benefits like SSI or SSDI. This act has opened up a pathway for financial stability and independence, allowing beneficiaries to save without the fear of losing essential benefits​​.

Conditions for Savings Accounts Under SSI and SSDI

Rules for SSI Savings Accounts

To retain eligibility for SSI benefits, individuals must navigate certain financial limits. Typically, individual beneficiaries cannot hold more than $2,000 in assets. However, ABLE accounts offer a unique exception. Funds in an ABLE account of up to $100,000 are not counted as resources for SSI eligibility. This means individuals can save significantly while still receiving benefits. It's a critical provision that helps maintain a safety net while encouraging financial growth​​.

Rules for SSDI Savings Accounts

For individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the rules regarding savings accounts are more lenient compared to SSI. SSDI does not have the same asset limits as SSI, meaning beneficiaries can save in a regular savings account without affecting their SSDI benefits. This flexibility stems from SSDI being based on work credits rather than financial need. However, it's important for beneficiaries to be aware of how other incomes or resources might impact their SSDI status.

MiABLE: A Special Savings Account for Michigan Residents

Michigan has tailored the ABLE initiative to its residents through the MiABLE program. This state-specific option provides a tax-free savings account, allowing eligible Michigan residents with disabilities to save for disability-related expenses. Contributions to MiABLE accounts grow tax-free and are exempt from federal income tax, provided they are used for qualified expenses. This program is a vital tool for Michigan residents with disabilities, offering them a way to save and invest without jeopardizing their federal benefits​​​​.

Navigate Life Better With Progressive Lifestyles

Progressive Lifestyles, Inc. is dedicated to providing innovative support services for people with disabilities and resources for their families. Our mission is to provide supportive and caring residential opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Oakland County, Michigan.

A primary focus of our organization is to interact with the individuals we support through the “Culture of Gentleness” model. We seek to create a positive environment to help them feel safe and valued while maximizing praise, limiting demands, maintaining consistent structure, and reducing stress during transitions. Contact us today to learn more about living the Progressive Lifestyle!


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