Guidance issued on ABLE Accounts, Medicaid and SSI

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has finally issued some guidance on the use and funding of ABLE accounts for individuals with disabilities, and guidance on the way the ABLE statute intersects with the strict financial requirements of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid programs. The federal statute (the ABLE Act) created an opportunity to create a fund to be used to pay for Qualified Disability Expenses (QDEs) for a person with disabilities without disrupting their eligibility for other crucial means-tested benefits. The Medicaid and SSI programs have a resource limit — an applicant can possess no more than $2,000 of non-excluded “resources.” The residence, one car, an irrevocable funeral trust, and all of the funds in a qualified ABLE account are considered to be “excluded resources.” As for “income,” there are an array of different income thresholds/limits depending on the particular program,…

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