By Brendan J. King

In March of 2015 we wrote about the ABLE Act becoming law. See Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 Now Law: What it means to disabled individuals and their families.

We are pleased to tell you that Massachusetts has launched its ABLE program called The Attainable Savings Plan. Maintained by the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), the plan is now available to individuals with disabilities nationwide.  The Attainable Savings Plan allows qualified individuals to save up to $14,000 a year – and to accumulate up to $100,000 in an ABLE account without losing Medicaid or other government-funded services. Previous to the enactment of The ABLE Act, a disabled individual could not have more than $2,000 (outside of a special needs trust) in order to qualify for benefits. According to advocates, the law ends the “old way of enforced poverty.”

The intent of the MA ABLE program is to foster independence and enhance the quality of life for disabled individuals, allowing them and their families to take positive steps to better secure their financial futures.  While in many cases a special needs trust may remain a desirable alternative or supplement, ABLE accounts are widely viewed as a solution for smaller amounts that might otherwise not merit the added logistical considerations of a trust.  ABLE accounts also allow the individual to own and directly control his/her funds without having to rely on a trustee.

For information on laws that have been enacted to help the special needs population please click on: Legislation that makes it Easier to Plan for Your Special Needs Loved One.

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