August is ABLE to Save Month


August is ABLE to Save Month

A hand putting money into a piggie bank
Article by Amy Dolan Strano, President, Achieva Family Trust

headshot of Amy Dolan StranoHistorically I have associated August with vacations, back to school, football, and of course, ice cream! Recently I found out that August is also ABLE to Save Month, in recognition of the benefits of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. Since 2014, the ABLE Act has provided an opportunity for people with disabilities to save for their future without impacting their means-tested government benefits. This has been a real game changer for people with disabilities and their families, who now have an additional vehicle to enhance their financial well-being.

At Achieva Family Trust, we continue to promote the availability and benefits of ABLE accounts as another option for people with disabilities to save for the future. We have many trust beneficiaries who utilize ABLE accounts in conjunction with their Special Needs Trust. Here’s one reason why this is a winning combination - with some types of Special Needs Trusts, we are able to make a distribution from the trust directly into the ABLE account. The current limit for annual ABLE account deposits from all sources is $16,000. Once the ABLE account is set up and funded, the beneficiary can control the funds in the ABLE account directly without having to request a distribution from the trustee. This use for an ABLE account helps to promote the autonomy and financial independence of our trust beneficiary.

While Achieva Family Trust strives to make it easy for a beneficiary to access their funds in a Special Needs Trust account, there are sometimes things that cannot be approved because of the potential disruption to certain public benefits of the person with a disability. For example, people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) could lose their SSI if their Special Needs Trust makes a distribution for shelter expenses, such as rent or utilities. However, an ABLE account can be used to pay for any type of Qualified Disability Expense (QDE), which includes these housing-related expenses.

Our dedicated staff at Achieva Family Trust are available to help you navigate the complexities of the various public benefit programs as well as the interplay between ABLE accounts and Special Needs Trusts. Please click here to access our Comparison Guide: Special Needs Trust and ABLE Account. If you need additional information about Special Needs Trusts or ABLE accounts, please give us a call at 412.995.5000 x565.

Read The Rest Of The Newsletter