By Patrick Ober
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) Act is a federal law that allows people with disabilities to create a special kind of bank account to save and spend their money. ABLE Accounts in Ohio are called STABLE Accounts.
You can use it to save money without losing eligibility for disability benefits like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You can also use STABLE Account funds to pay for certain disability-related expenses tax-free.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH IT?
STABLE Accounts are not a regular checking or savings accounts, they are investment accounts. When you deposit money into your STABLE Account, it will be invested and allow you to grow your money to save for long-term for disability expenses.
Friends and family can also deposit money, and you can have up to $517,000 in a STABLE Account!
CAN I TAKE OUT MY MONEY AND USE IT?
Yes! If you are taking money out of your account for a “qualified disability expense,” it will not be taxed, which saves you money! Qualified disability expenses can include healthcare, housing and transportation costs; employment training and support; technology purchases; and education.
WHO CAN HAVE ONE?
STABLE Accounts are available to people with a disability that has lasted or will last for at least one year and also began before the age of 26.
You must either have a disability that qualifies you for SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or have a disability that results in one or more “severe functional limitations.”
HOW DO I CREATE A STABLE ACCOUNT?
In Ohio, everything is done online through stableaccount.com, so you don’t need to make a trip to the bank. You will create your profile, provide your basic information, and answer a few questions about your disability.
Once you create your profile, you will have to make an initial deposit of $25, choose your investment options, and your account will be ready!
If you have any questions about STABLE Accounts or would assistance going through this process, contact Patrick Ober at the Center for Independent Living Options, firstname.lastname@example.org or (513) 241-8046. You can find a simple eligibility quiz at stableaccount.com.