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Week #2: Who is Eligible?

 

Understanding Eligibility 

It is important to understand that not all individuals with disabilities will be eligble to open an ABLE account. The ABLE Act limits eligibility to individuals with significant disabilities with an age of onset of disability before turning 26 years of age. If you meet this age criteria and are also already receiving benefits under SSI and/or SSDI, you are automatically eligible to establish an ABLE account. If you are not a recipient of SSI and/or SSDI, but still meet the age of onset disability requirement, you could still be eligible to open an ABLE account if you meet Social Security’s definition and criteria regarding significant functional limitations and receive a letter of certification from a licensed physician. You need not be under the age of 26 to be eligible for an ABLE account. You could be over the age of 26, but must have had an age of onset before your 26th birthday.

Topic at a Glance

Does Simply Having a Disability Qualify a Person to be Allowed to Open and ABLE Account?

No, not all people who have a disability are eligible to open an ABLE account.  In fact, there are two requirements that must be met before a person can be allowed to be an ABLE account owner.

What Are the Criteria Related to Being Eligible to Open an ABLE Account?

 The ABLE Act limits eligibility to individuals with significant disabilities with an age of onset of disability before turning 26 years of age. If you meet this age criteria and are also already receiving benefits under SSI and/or SSDI, you are automatically eligible to establish an ABLE account. If you are not a recipient of SSI and/or SSDI, but still meet the age of onset disability requirement, you could still be eligible to open an ABLE account if you meet Social Security’s definition and criteria regarding significant functional limitations and receive a letter of certification from a licensed physician. 

Can I Open an ABLE Account Even If I Am Older than 26?

You need not be under the age of 26 to be eligible for an ABLE account. You could be over the age of 26, but must have had an age of onset before your 26th birthday.

Can I Open an ABLE Account Even If I Am Not Currently Recieving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

Yes, but you would still need to meet the age of onset requirement and you would need to get a "disability certification" signed by a qualified physician.

Resources

View ANRC's informational videos

Stay Tuned!

Register for our "ABLE Eligibility and Interplay with Public Benefits" webinar

Not every individual with a disability is qualified to open an ABLE account.  This webinar will explain the requirements related to being eligible to open an ABLE account.  Additionally, this webinar will also discuss how ABLE funds may affect the beneficiary’s eligibility for federally-funded, means-tested benefits, such as SSI and Medicaid.  The webinar will incorporate a panel of ABLE related stakeholders that will be asked to give their perspective on the presentation, including their experience with the given topic.

For more information, including how to register, click HERE.

Read a transcript from our "Ask the Experts"

The ABLE National Resource Center is always ready and willing to anwser your ABLE related questions to the best of our ability.  If you have a question or comment please click HERE to submit your question or comment and we promise to get back to you as soon as possible.

View our Friday Fast Facts

Fast Fact Friday: An ABLE eligible individual is only allowed to have 1 ABLE account at any given time.

Fast Fact Friday: Provided you meet the eligibility requirements, you can open an ABLE account at any age.

Fast Fact Friday: You do not necessarily need to be recieving benefits through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to be eligible to open an ABLE account.