The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allows people with disabilities who became disabled before they turned 26 to set aside up to $15,000 per year in tax-free savings accounts without affecting his or her eligibility for government benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This money can come from the disabled individual him/herself or anyone else who may wish to give the disabled person money. Unlike direct gifts, transfers to ABLE accounts do not affect SSI or Medicaid benefits.

Modeled on 529 savings plans for higher education, these accounts can be used to pay for qualifying expenses of the account beneficiary, such as the costs of treating the disability or for education, housing and health care, among other things.

Although New Jersey permits disabled people to set up ABLE accounts in other states, our state has not yet established a program permitting financial institutions in New Jersey to do so. However, states other than New Jersey continue to roll out ABLE account programs. The Academy of Special Needs Planners consumer website, Special Needs Answers, has published a list of state ABLE programs, with links to each program’s website. Residents of states without an ABLE program. like New Jersey, may be able to establish an ABLE account in another state; many state programs allow out-of-state beneficiaries to open accounts.

To visit the directory, go to:

For additional information concerning special needs trusts and disability planning, visit:

NJ Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning