Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Use an Able Account for Qualified Disability Expenses: Learn How to Use an Able Account as an Alternative or Companion to a Special Needs Trust (Snt) for Disability-Related Expenses like Food, Housing, Transportation and More

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Use an Able Account for Qualified Disability Expenses: Learn How to Use an Able Account as an Alternative or Companion to a Special Needs Trust (Snt) for Disability-Related Expenses like Food, Housing, Transportation and More

Article excerpt

Manage your spending without impacting your government benefits with an ABLE account. ABLE funds can pay for education, housing, transportation, employment, assistive technology and adaptive equipment, health, prevention and wellness, legal and financial services, funeral and burial, basic living expenses and more.

Be sure to keep good records of all your spending, because the IRS has the right to ask for verification for each expense. An expense is qualified if it meets all 3 requirements:

* It was incurred at a time the individual was eligible for an ABLE account.

* It relates to the disability.

* It helps to maintain or improve health, independence or quality of life.

EXAMPLES OF QUALIFIED EDUCATION EXPENSES

* School tuition--pre-school through post-secondary * School supplies * Other educational materials * Text books * Certification * Trade school * Attendant fees

EXAMPLES OF QUALIFIED HOUSING EXPENSES

Qualified housing expenses make an ABLE account different from a Special Needs Trust (SNT), since distributions to pay for housing costs are not counted as income for SSI qualifications, if spent in the month received.

* Rent * Purchase of a primary residence * Mortgage payments * Real property taxes * Utility charges

EXAMPLES OF QUALIFIED EMPLOYMENT EXPENSES

* Job-related training * Tools of the trade * Certification and licensing fees * Work-related uniforms * Job coaching * Start-up fees for entrepreneurs * Moving expenses

EXAMPLES OF ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT

* Hearing aids * Wheelchairs * Transfer devices * Walkers * Prosthesis * Screen readers, magnifiers and magnifying software * Braille * Tactile keyboards * Wearable technology * Accessibility software and computer devices * Personal emergency response system (PERS) * Alerting Devices * Memory Aids * Educational Software * Home automation * Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC)

EXAMPLES OF QUALIFIED HEALTH, PREVENTION AND WELLNESS EXPENSES

* Health insurance * Mental health, medical, vision and dental expenses * Habilitation and rehabilitation services * Durable medical equipment * Therapy * Personal assistance * Respite care * Longterm services and supports * Nutritional management

* Communication services and devices

Non-qualified expenses: If ABLE account funds are used on non-qualified expenses, regular income taxes plus 10% additional tax on the earnings portion of those non-qualified distributions will need to be paid. …

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