LA ABLE allows people with disabilities to save in an ABLE account without jeopardizing their eligibility for federal programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Prior to LA ABLE, people on Social Security and Medicaid could be disqualified for having more than $2,000 of resources or assets. Now individuals can save up to $100,000 in an ABLE account without a change in government benefits.
The Louisiana Achieving a Better Life Experience Act is a program which allows families to save for disability related expenses of their loved ones. The advantage of this program is that it allows the family to save without worrying about whether the assets in an account will be counted as an asset for purposes of determining eligibility for federal and state benefits programs such as Medicaid and Social Security.
An account owner can save up to $15,000 per year or with help from family and friends. As long as the balance in an account does not meet or exceed $100,000, the funds will not be not be counted as a resource for purposes of determining eligibility for SSI. In addition, if an account does meet or exceed $100,000, SSI will only be suspended; it will not be permanently canceled. Once the balance in the account goes below this $100,000 threshold, the SSI benefits can be reinstated.
Any earnings on your account (i.e., interest that accrues on the account) are tax free as long as you spend the funds on qualified disability expenses. Qualified disability expenses include all of the following:
- Education – to include Tuition for preschool to post-secondary schools
- Employment Training and Support
- Assistive Technology and Related Services
- Personal Support Services
- Health, Prevention, and Wellness
- Financial Management and Administrative Services
- Legal Fees
- Expenses for Oversight and Monitoring
- Funeral and Burial Expenses
- Other expenses which may be identified by the Internal Revenue Service
Learn more at https://www.able.osfa.la.gov/benefits.aspx
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For more information on services for individuals with developmental disabilities contact CLHSD’s disability office at 318-484-2347 located at 429 Murry St. Suite B. in Alexandria, LA. We provide the Single Point of Entry for people with developmental disabilities who are seeking supports or services (flexible family funds, individual and family support, support coordination, supported living, school transition services, residential, early steps, waivers, and/or community support team) through the Louisiana Department of Health. We provide several waiver options as well as personal care services (pcs), extended care, companion care, dental and medical services, equipment and supplies, communication services, crisis intervention, specialized nutrition, and individualized family services.