Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs Launches Multi-State Investment Program for Children and Adults with a Disability or Blindness

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs is proud to announce a groundbreaking partnership that brings together 14 states to encourage individuals to invest money on behalf of people with a disability or blindness without jeopardizing their federal disability benefits through the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) act.

Illinois leads the National ABLE Alliance, the country’s largest multi-state agreement for these special investment tools.  ABLE investment and banking accounts can grow tax free, and can be used to pay for qualifying, disability-related expenses. The introduction of this program culminates nearly two years of negotiations.

To qualify for an ABLE account, the account owner must have developed the disability or blindness before the age of 26. With the age established, a person who qualifies for Social Security Administration benefits, or has received a waiver from the IRS will qualify for an ABLE account.

Annual contribution limits are tied to the federal gift tax amount, which today is $14,000. The ABLE investment can grow up to $100,000 and still not be counted toward eligibility for Social Security Income or other means-tested programs at the federal level. When an ABLE account balance exceeds the $100,000 cap, Supplemental Security Income benefits are suspended. The benefits automatically resume if the account value falls below $100,000. ABLE balances have no implications on Medicaid eligibility.

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