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The CalABLE Program: ABLE Accounts Now Available in California

By Katherine L on January 2, 2019 | In Social Security Disability

The CalABLE Program: ABLE Accounts Now Available in California

As of December 18th, 2018, the CalABLE program is live and accepting new enrollees. The California Achieving a Better Life Experience (CalABLE) Program, signed into law by Governor Brown in 2015, allows qualified people with disabilities and their families to save more money without the fear of losing government assistance.

How the CalABLE Program Works

Previously, individuals with disabilities could not build financial security with savings accounts because those dollars may have excluded them from eligibility for certain federal programs. As an example, eligibility for the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is restricted to those with resources not more than $2,000 (or $3,000 for a couple). However, savings in the new ABLE accounts – up to $100,000 – are not counted against that SSI personal asset limit.

The bottom line is that those with disabilities and their families can now accumulate funds in CalABLE accounts to help with expenses related to their disabilities and still qualify for other means-tested benefit programs.

CalABLE Accounts: The Details

  • An individual who became disabled before age 26 and is eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or SSI benefits may qualify, as can an individual with a disability certification with a diagnosis signed by a physician.
  • Eligible individuals can create a savings account and save up to $15,000 per year and up to $100,000 in total, without losing public benefits.
  • CalABLE accounts enjoy some tax advantages as earnings are not subject to federal or California state income tax – if the earnings are spent on qualified expenses.
  • Deposits to the account may be made online or by check, or by automatic transfer from a bank account. Family members and friends may also contribute directly to the CalABLE account.
  • Withdrawing money from the account must be for expenses that relate to the person’s disability; for example, medical expenses; books and tuition for education; housing expenses including rent, mortgage payments and utilities; transportation; assistive technology.

Read more about CalABLE accounts in this fact sheet. It’s easy to open an account – just visit the CalABLE.ca.gov information and enrollment website.

Let Us Know If You Need Help With a Social Security Disability Claim

If you or a loved one has been denied Worker’s Compensation or Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it’s important to get an attorney experienced in these types of cases involved immediately.  Call 800.438.7734 for your initial free consultation, either in our office or in the comfort of your own home.  The Kenton Koszdin Law Office, Social Security attorney in Van Nuys, can help you navigate the application process for the best possible outcome for you and your family.

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