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Community Partner Spotlight: Maryland ABLE
Promoting personal choice, independence, and financial stability for people with disabilities
ABLE accounts can help promote personal choice, independence, and financial stability for people with disabilities. They provide a way for people with qualifying disabilities to save and invest without losing vital means-tested benefits, such as SSI, Medicaid, food, energy, or housing assistance.
Before ABLE accounts were created, “Asset limits” prevented people with disabilities from saving money beyond $2,000. With ABLE accounts, people with disabilities can save money that is not counted towards the asset limitations set by means-tested benefit programs. Thanks to the ABLE Act, people with disabilities can have up to $100,000 in an ABLE account before their benefits are impacted.
Through an ABLE account, imagine having:
- The opportunity to save over a $2,000 limit;
- The ability to save or invest up to $100,000 account balance without jeopardizing eligibility for means tested benefits;
- Tax-free account growth and tax-free withdrawals for qualified disability expenses;
- Access to an income deduction on Maryland State taxes up to $2,500 per contributor, per beneficiary for contributions made to a Maryland ABLE account;
- Using funds in your ABLE account to pay for qualified disability expenses that support your health, independence, and quality of life.
Are you ABLE eligible?
ABLE Accounts are for people whose disability began before age 26. You must also meet one of the following criteria:
- You are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because of your disability; or
- Have a disability certification signed by your doctor.
How Can I Open an ABLE Account?
It only takes an initial deposit of $25 to open an account. Once you are ready to enroll, you can setup your account online at www.marylandable.org.
What do I need to know about contributions to an ABLE Account?
ABLE accounts have a standard annual contribution limit of $17,000 per year. ABLE account holders who are employed may be eligible to make ABLE to Work contributions beyond the standard annual contribution limit through ABLE to Work Contributions. Contributions to an ABLE account can come from many sources such as the ABLE account holders wages, or SSI/SSDI benefits; gifts from family and friends, rollovers from a 529 College Savings Plan, back payments, and more!
Features of a Maryland ABLE Account
Maryland ABLE account holders can choose if they want to save and/or invest the money that they contribute to their account. Learn more about saving in the Cash Option or investing in one or more of four investment options including ABLE Fixed Income, ABLE Conservative, ABLE Moderate, or ABLE Aggressive.
Learn more about the features of a Maryland ABLE account such as the ABLE Prepaid Card Option for convenient access to funds; a personalized online gifting page that makes it easy for family and friends to support your savings goals.
What are the costs of having a Maryland ABLE account?
There is a low annual fee of $35 a year to maintain the account and there are additional fees if you select the ABLE Prepaid Card or one of the investment options.
Have Specific Questions?
Here are a few ways to get answers. You can contact a customer support representative at 855-563-2253, Monday – Friday, from 9am – 8pm, or you can browse frequently asked questions. For a detailed explanation of the Maryland ABLE program, we recommend reading the Program Disclosure Book.
Let’s Stay Connected!
Join their mailing list to get the latest news about Maryland ABLE. Follow them on Facebook.com/MarylandABLE and on Twitter @MarylandABLE.