What is the ABLE Act?

The Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was passed by Congress in December of 2014. The ABLE Act established a way for people with eligible disabilities to save money in a tax-free account without losing their state or federal benefits. The protections offered by ABLE accounts are similar to that of a special needs trust, but there are many differences between the two options related to eligibility, contributions, use of funds, and Medicaid payback provisions.

OSNT vs. Oregon ABLE Savings Plan

Here are some of the differences between the two savings options for people with disabilities. These should be considered carefully when determining which option is best for the beneficiary and the donor.

OSNT

ABLE Account

Age of Beneficiary

No requirement or limitation; beneficiaries over age 65 may be subject to a penalty

No requirement or limitation

Onset of Disability

No requirement or limitation

Onset of qualifying disability prior to age 26

Opening an Account

Can be established by a parent, guardian, court, or capable person with a disability

Can be established by parent, power of attorney, guardian, or person with a disability

Number of Accounts

Unlimited

One per beneficiary

Account Management

The Arc Oregon

Account holder or authorized agent

Contributions

None – no minimums or maximums

2018 Annual contribution max: $15,000
Protected SSI asset max: $100,000
Lifetime contribution max: $310,000

Distributions

Any expense for the sole benefit of the beneficiary that is not covered by public benefits; payments may not be made directly to the beneficiary

Qualified disability expenses and basic living expenses; Taxes and penalties apply for non-qualified expenses

Medicaid Payback

First-party funds must be used to reimburse state for Medicaid benefits; Third-party funds are not subject to payback rules and may be directed by the donor

Remaining funds upon death of beneficiary must be used to reimburse state for Medicaid benefits regardless of the source of funds

Fees

See our Fee Schedule page for details

$35 Annual Fee, plus .3% to .37%
$10 paper statements delivery fee
$2.50 check disbursement fee

 

Oversight

We review and approve all requests to avoid adverse effects on means-tested benefits and protect beneficiaries from financial exploitation.

No oversight provided to insure disbursements are qualified or that only authorized persons with the beneficiary’s best interests in mind have access to the account.

 

Can a Person Have an ABLE and an OSNT Account?

Absolutely! There are many situations in which an ABLE account and an OSNT account can work well together to support a person’s financial and lifestyle goals. You may deposit and access money from both accounts, or transfer money from an OSNT account into an ABLE account to pay for needs that are not allowable under special needs trust rules. Download our information sheet about how this works and/or contact our office for more details.

For more information visit the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan website.
We are happy to discuss the options with you to help determine which would work best for you

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