Many people have asked, “Why should I open an ABLE account?”  Instead of hearing the answer from us at the State Treasurer’s Office, we went straight to Illinois ABLE account owner Julia, and her mom Janet.

Julia doesn’t let her disability get in the way of her independence, but when it comes to saving money for her disability-related expenses, she wants a little support.  So, Julia granted Janet the authority to open and manage Julia’s ABLE account. Here is what they shared with us:

1.  Why did you decide to open an IL ABLE account? Janet: “Julia had some savings from presents as well as some salary she received from two jobs. We wanted to have a better vehicle for these savings that wouldn’t disqualify her from receiving SSI/SSDI and would also allow her to have moneys for further education or to pay medical bills not otherwise covered by benefits programs.”

2.  How did you find the experience of enrolling in Illinois ABLE? Janet:“On our first try at enrolling, we didn’t get the forms filled out quite right, but everyone at Illinois ABLE customer service was very helpful.  They walked us through the process.”

3.  Julia, what things did you consider that helped you decide to ask your mom to be your Authorized Individual on your Illinois ABLE account? Julia: “My mom has always been the parent who helps me with money and planning like that.”

4.  Do you have any plans for how you will use the funds in your ABLE account? Julia: “Not immediately but it is a comfort to know that it is there.”

5.  What does having an ABLE account mean for you and your family? Janet: “It gives a layer of financial security to Julia.   She has several medical conditions that require specialty treatments and seeing specialists.   Insurance covers some of it now but when Julia’s dad retires her health insurance coverages probably won’t be as generous.   It is a real comfort to know that we can accumulate some funds when we can afford to, so that she will have them when she needs that money.”

6.  Julia, any final thoughts? Julia: “I don’t need to add anything. Well said Mom!”


To enroll in Illinois ABLE, visit

Do you have an ABLE story to tell?  Contact JJ Hanley at

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