This blog post is sponsored by ABLEnow but I do not promote products or services I don’t believe in.
I have a son. My son has Asperger’s, a developmental disability that impacts social functioning and, sometimes, judgment. I knew that something was wrong when he was a little tiny human. He avoided direct eye contact. He experienced developmental, behavioral, and speech delays. Daniel didn’t talk regularly until he was almost four years old. At the time, I didn’t realize that this would become a lifelong problem for him.
In the mid-1990’s, a psychologist diagnosed him with Asperger’s, a relatively unheard of disorder then. Thanks to lots of hard work on his part, his teachers, and supportive family assistance, he graduated from high school with a mainstream diploma.
He’s an adult now and lives on his own. However, he still needs assistance at times. For example, I am his representative payee for social security. He depends on his SSI benefits to live independently, and I manage his funds. But, even under my cautious eye, these benefits rarely leave him much left over for other necessities.
As his representative payee, in addition to ensuring that he spends money appropriately, I also watch that he doesn’t accrue too much in savings, or they may reduce his social security payments. Saving for a reliable vehicle is nearly impossible. He also wants to go through vocational rehabilitation training, which also requires money.
He has a natural affinity for animals and would enjoy working as a veterinary assistant, but that requires training.
However, I found out about a law called the ABLE Act that enables people in my son’s situation to save money they need for transportation, medical necessities, and other needs without worrying about penalties!
Groups like The Arc, Autism Speaks, and NDSS advocated for this law allowing people with disabilities to save more money for daily essentials without impacting their benefits. In response, in 2014, Congress passed the bill amending the tax code allowing people with disabilities to create tax-free savings accounts called ABLE Accounts. These savings supplement, but do not replace, other subsidies like Medicaid or SSDI. And the best part is, family members can contribute to my son’s account and invest in his future.
ABLE is an acronym:
Setting Up an ABLEnow Account
ABLEnow is a program that administers ABLE Accounts. And it’s so easy to sign up. Visit the ABLEnow site, and take their short quiz to see if you or your child is eligible. While ABLEnow isn’t the only ABLE account program, they are one of the country’s fastest-growing ABLE programs with accounts in all 50 states. Unlike the program my state runs, ABLEnow includes a debit card for easy fund access. Virginia529, the largest college savings plan in the United States, manages ABLEnow, but they have expanded their mission to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
Even though it’s administered by the Commonwealth of Virginia, ABLEnow is available to eligible individuals in every state.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post is sponsored by ABLEnow but I do not promote products or services I don’t believe in.
We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.