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ABLE Act: Activated in Florida!

On July 1st, Florida became one of only three states in the country to implement the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014, which gives states the ability to implement a qualified ABLE program and establish ABLE accounts for people with developmental disabilities that meet certain criteria.

The Florida ABLE United Program provides qualifying Floridians with developmental disabilities the opportunity to have tax-free savings accounts without losing their federal benefits. To qualify, the account holder must be a Florida Resident, have a qualifying disability, and have been disabled before their 26th birthday. Individuals and their families can save up to $14,000 a year in their ABLE United accounts before disability benefits are jeopardized – a stark contrast to the previous $2,000 asset limit.

“Under the Florida ABLE Program, individuals, their family members and others can contribute funds to a tax-exempt ABLE account without affecting the individual’s eligibility for state and federal benefits,” said Florida State Senate President Gardiner in a press release. “Those funds could then be used for certain expenses like education, housing, transportation, employment support or health and wellness, enabling the individual to have a higher level of economic independence and hopefully a better quality of life.”

Money withdrawn from ABLE Program accounts also covers other living costs under tax-free, Qualified Disability Expenses. The accounts also give concerned, aging parents’ peace of mind by being able to provide for the future of their disabled children similar to a Roth IRA or College Savings Account.

In Florida, 35% of individuals with developmental disabilities are unemployed and 25% are living in poverty. The program will provide the opportunity for financially independence and give a platform for a more secure quality of life all the while maintaining the social services needed.

For more information visit the ABLE United website