Recently, the Social Security Administration (SSA) published Transmittal No. 74, revising Part 05 of SSA’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS) covering Resource Exclusions in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program pertaining to Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts. 

In the introduction to the new ABLE POMS, SSA said:


This transmittal includes the current published guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts, as well as some system enhancements implemented on September 30, 2017, that were explained in AM-17060. In addition, we added an explanation about State ABLE partnerships, clarified excluded contributions, outlined when States began reporting information, and included new instructions about the use of debit cards. We simplified the references to qualified disability expenses (QDEs) throughout the transmittal to be in line with the IRS’ ABLE law. Final IRS regulations have not been published therefore the IRS position could change when the regulations are finalized. At that point, we will make any necessary updates to SSA ABLE policy accordingly.

Summary of Changes

SI 01130.740 Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts

We updated the following sections to describe the system enhancements implemented on September 30, 2017, and to incorporate current guidance from the IRS:

  • Subsection A – We identified the various partnerships that States can use to administer ABLE accounts, and we addressed the treatment of duplicate ABLE accounts.
  • Subsection B – We changed the references of QDE for housing to housing expenses, and updated the 2018 per donee gift exclusion to $15,000.00.
  • Subsection C – We clarified the treatment of contributions to an ABLE account.
  • Subsection D – We simplified the QDE examples to make them more general at the request of the IRS.
  • Subsection E – We explained when the States begin reporting data to SSA on a monthly basis. We included a list of the data that States will begin sharing with SSA. We described the actions technicians would have the ability to do and explained step-by-step how to view and process the information. We introduced the new ABLE pages RABL and RAPN. We shared instructions on how to identify and handle mismatched account data.
  • Subsection G – We created a new subsection explaining how to handle and record debit card information. We offered instructions on how to indicate a debit card on the ROTH screen and described how to complete the related data fields.

A link to the new SSA POMS is here:!readform

Attached is an analysis line-by-line of the changes in the New POMS on ABLE Accounts:

Download (PDF, 438KB)

For additional information concerning social security disability appeals, visit:

Social Security Disability Appeals

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

NJ Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning