ABLE Account Funds Could Help Individuals with Disabilities Achieve Employment Outcomes
June 2016 marked the launch of the country’s first ABLE programs. As a result of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, qualified individuals with disabilities can now save funds in a tax advantaged savings account (an ABLE account) for the purposes of offsetting disability-related expenses. Moreover, the funds saved in the account, and dispersed for qualified disability-related expenses, will not be taken into consideration when determining eligibility for publicly-funded benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid.
Qualified disability-related expenses include those related to the beneficiary’s disability and that help the beneficiary increase or maintain his or her health, independence, and/or quality of life. Additionally, funds in an ABLE account are to be used to supplement, not supplant, publicly-funded supports.
A qualified disability-related expense could very well include expenses which assist the beneficiary with obtaining and/or maintaining competitive integrated employment. The following are just some examples of employment-related expenses that could likely be paid for with funds contributed to an ABLE account:
- Job coaching or additional job coaching;
- Costs associated with certificates, accreditations, and/or job related trainings;
- Interview prep and resume development;
- Transportation to and from the beneficiary’s place of employment; and
- Financial management education/assistance.
For more information related to the ABLE Act and ABLE programs in general, please visit the ABLE National Resource Center at www.ablenrc.org.