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SSI and ABLE accounts

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2021 | Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Adults and children who have disabilities and limited incomes may be eligible to receive assistance from the government. Supplemental Security Income obtains funds from tax revenues and helps these individuals pay for basic expenses.

One benefit that SSI participants may take advantage of is a tax-free savings account called Achieving a Better Life Experience. The designated beneficiary can take distributions from the account to use for certain qualified disability expenses.

SSI eligibility requirements

In order to be eligible to open an ABLE account, an individual must be eligible for disability benefits, such as supplemental security income. According to, the eligibility requirements for SSI include:

  • Be 65 years of age or older, disabled or blind,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal alien,
  • Have limited resources and income, and
  • Live in one of the states, D.C. or the Northern Mariana Islands

Other incomes, such as those of a spouse or parent, also may affect eligibility.

Information about ABLE

Even if a person is not eligible for SSI, the Social Security Administration states that he or she may also open an ABLE account if they receive disability benefits due to blindness or a disability that started before the age of 26.

This eligible individual is the owner of the ABLE account and is the only one who can use the distributions. However, anyone can make contributions into the account, although there are limits as to how much money can go into the account on an annual basis. The beneficiary can take money out, tax-free, to use towards expenses such as basic living expenses, education, transportation, health, financial management, employment training and more.

The earnings from an ABLE account do not count towards taxable income. However, once the account has more than $100,000 in it, any excess amount counts as a resource for SSI eligibility.

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