Anyone applying for disability will soon learn that there are strict eligibility requirements for the available benefits. Single people applying for SSI generally have an asset limit of $2,000 (in addition to several exemptions), and a married couple is limited to $3,000 in assets outside of exempt items. These strict asset limits leave many people ineligible for SSI benefits, even though they meet the medical requirements for disability.
Medical care and housing can be very expensive for disabled individuals. Now, disabled individuals whose disability onset date is prior to reaching age 26 can establish an ABLE account. The ABLE account is an exempt banking account, and the disabled individual is the beneficiary of the account. The money held in the ABLE account is exempt from the SSI asset valuation. There are limitations on how funds from the ABLE account may be spent, but the funds may be used for a wide variety of expenses associated with living with a disability, such as housing expenses, transportation, education, and medical care.
ABLE accounts can receive deposits from family and friends, enabling loved ones to provide financial help without it being calculated as unearned income by Social Security. Unlike other exempt funds, such as special needs trusts, ABLE accounts are very inexpensive to establish or maintain. For more information on how ABLE accounts function and if they might be the right solution for you, please visit https://www.ablenrc.org/state-review/florida/
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