The following FAQs are intended to provide helpful, general information regarding ABLE Programs and Accounts. For more complete and detailed responses, please see our ABLE ME Informational Booklet and Important Information About Your Account Booklet.
What does ABLE mean?
ABLE Programs were created as a result of the passage of the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014, better known as the ABLE Act. ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged accounts that help eligible individuals with disabilities save for Qualified Expenses while preserving eligibility for federal means-tested benefits. The Maine legislature has extended that benefit to State of Maine means-tested benefits.
What is a Beneficiary?
The Beneficiary is an eligible individual with a disability who is the owner of the account and for whose benefit deposits and withdrawals are made.
Who can open an ABLE account?
The Beneficiary may open their ABLE Account or may authorize anyone they select to become an Authorized Representative. If the Beneficiary is unable to establish their own account, one of the persons allowed by regulation may open and manage the Account, i.e. POA, conservator or legal guardian, spouse, parent, sibling, grandparent, Representative Payee appointed by the SSA – in that order. An Authorized Representative may only act for the benefit of the Beneficiary and may not have a beneficial interest in the Account for the lifetime of the Beneficiary.
Can a Beneficiary own more than one 529A ABLE account?
No, the Beneficiary is limited to one 529A ABLE account open at any point in time, other than during the process of transferring from one ABLE program to another ABLE program.
How is eligibility determined?
A person with a disability is eligible if they are eligible to receive benefits based on blindness or disability under Title II or XVI of the Social Security Act, OR attains a Disability Certification meeting specified requirements signed by an authorized medical professional. Maine ABLE Benefit CheckingSM
has created a form
for applicants to provide to their physician to obtain the required written diagnosis, if needed.
If a person with disability is over the age of 26, can they still open an ABLE account?
Yes, the age of disability onset must be before the age of 26, not the age of the Beneficiary at the time of account opening.
Who can deposit to an ABLE account?
Any person, which under federal law includes an individual, or a trust, estate, partnership, association, company, or corporation, can deposit money in an account, subject to deposit limits.
What are Deposit Limits?
There are three types of Deposit Limits that apply to an ABLE Program, all of which may change from time to time. It is very important not to deposit over any of these limits during the time period allowed.
(1) Annual Deposit Limit: currently $15,000 annually from all contributors. (2) Additional Deposit Limit: Employed Beneficiaries that meet certain criteria may be eligible to deposit additional earned income, currently up to $12,760 or 100% of their annual income, whichever is less. (3) Maximum Balance Limit: Maine ABLE Benefit CheckingSM
account balance may not exceed $500,000.
What are Qualified Disability Expenses?
Qualified Disability Expenses (QDE) are expenses made for the benefit of the designated beneficiary related to their disability and are intended for maintaining or improving their health, independence, or quality of life. Examples are for education, housing, transportation, assistive technology and related services, basic living expenses, and more.
Can a Beneficiary have both an ABLE account and a Special Needs Trust?
Yes, a Beneficiary may have both an ABLE account and a Special Needs Trust. A Maine ABLE Benefit CheckingSM
Account can accept a deposit of funds from a Specials Needs Trust within the allowable Deposit Limits.
What happens to the ABLE account after the death of the Beneficiary?
Upon the death of the current Beneficiary, all amounts remaining in the ABLE Account are includible in the Beneficiary’s gross estate.