Florida Able United - An SSI Recipient’s Opportunity to Save
The general rule in the past has been Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will lose eligibility to monthly disability benefits when the household income and resources exceed a certain pre-determined limit. Historically, this limit in Florida has been no more than $2,000 per month in non-exempt assets. Basing eligibility on such an exceedingly low limit leaves no room for SSI recipients to build up a savings for the betterment of life. Needing to do household repairs or just putting new tires on a car ends up being financial devastating because there is no way to save up for normal expenses of life. The Florida ABLE United program is intended to help disabled SSI recipients with this frustrating situation.
What is Florida ABLE United? On December 19, 2014, President Barack Obama signed into law the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2013. The ABLE Act amends Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to allow the states to create tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities much like the tax-advantaged savings accounts for pre-paid college tuition. The ABLE tax-advantaged savings accounts can be used to cover qualified disability expenses such as, but not limited to, education, housing and transportation and will be considered exempt resource in determining eligibility for SSI and certain other public benefits. In other words, SSI recipients can save money each year (up to $15,000 per year) without jeopardizing their SSI monthly disability benefit.
In 2017, Florida established one of the first ABLE programs in the nation. For more information about whether you are eligible for an ABLE savings account and how to set up your own account, check out the following links: