ABLE Act Implementation

Submitted by Abbey Hudson on Thu, 03/09/2017 - 01:15

The 2017 NSSTA Annual Conference will be held on April 19-21 at The Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, CA. The full agenda will be posted soon on the event page.

One of the sessions being presented this year is titled “ABLE Act Implementation.” The speaker on that topic, Stephen W. Dale, is an attorney and a disability rights advocate, and spends much of his time attending disability rights activities, including legislative hearings and serving on boards and committees of disability-rights organizations. For those not familiar with the ABLE Act, we’ve provided some background information below.

What is the ABLE Act?

The ABLE Act allows people who are disabled to set up a tax-free savings account without affecting eligibility for government benefits (as long as the account balance does not exceed $100,000). Those eligible for ABLE accounts can contribute up to $14,000 per year. There are specific criteria used to determine if a person is eligible to open this type of account, including a requirement that the disability occurred before age 26.

What is the intention of the ABLE Act?

ABLE stands for “Achieving a Better Life Experience.” The intention of the Act is to allow people with disabilities to have savings for the future without jeopardizing government benefits. Before the establishment of ABLE accounts, government benefits could be affected by any amount of money in savings, as this was counted as income. ABLE account funds must be used for “qualified disability expenses.” For many claimants, ABLE accounts would be used in conjunction with trusts and other types of financial vehicles.

Why is this important to NSSTA?

Structured settlements can be set up to pay to an ABLE account for claimants with significant disability. Because a claimant can only contribute $14,000 per year, the flexibility of a structured settlement allows periodic payments to fund ABLE accounts, which would then be used to pay for medical bills, treatments and other expenses.

This is just one of the many education topics being presented at the 2017 Annual Conference. If you would like to register to attend, please visit the event page. Attendees that book their hotel room by March 22nd will receive the NSSTA group rate.

I hope to see you in San Francisco!