Have you ever been frustrated that your loved one could only have $2,000 in his or her name in order to continue receiving government benefits? Having a limited amount of funds in a person with disability's name can be problematic when families are trying to save for long-term care of their loved one or in situations where the loved one will receive a sum of money due to an accident or inheritence.
In many cases, families are also looking for a tax-incentive to save for their loved one's care, like the 529 plans that allow families to save for their child's college tuition. Additionally, setting up a special needs trust might not be a priority and/or something the family can afford, despite trying to save for the future.
The Baddour Center staff met in early March of 2022 with a state official and learned there is a new option to explore: Mississippi ABLE accounts.
ABLE is an acronym that stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience. This program was nationally introduced years ago; however, the Mississippi program is relatively new. This could prove beneficial for families of individuals with disabilities.
In short, ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. Income earned in the account is not taxed if spent on qualified disability-related expenses. Contributions can be made to an account by anyone and may qualify for a state tax deduction. The account can be used for daily transactions, as well as for long-term savings.
In layman’s terms, the greatest benefit is that “it permits individuals with disabilities to save money while keeping their government benefits.”
We learned ABLE accounts can be used in conjunction with special needs trusts, and that the ABLE program’s current board chair is an attorney with expertise in both. The presenter further said ABLE accounts are “accounts for the living and not an estate planning tool.”
The State's ABLE website is administered through Mississippi’s Department of Rehabilitation Services.
You might also find the “Frequently-Asked Questions” (FAQs) link helpful.
Any questions not addressed on the above websites can be directed to MDRS at MSABLEINFO@mdrs.ms.gov or by calling 601-853-5240.