You will lose your benefits if you have an Illinois ABLE account?

The answer is FALSE! “Achieving a Better Life Experience” ABLE accounts allow eligible individuals and their families to save and invest private funds without affecting their eligibility for SSI, Medicaid and other public benefits.

Understandably, some people are afraid to open ABLE accounts because they fear that they will lose their benefits if assets or “countable resources” exceed $2000.  So, we went to the source – the federal ABLE law. It explains that private savings in an ABLE account provides “secure funding for disability-related expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, Medicaid, SSI, the beneficiary’s employment and other sources.”

In essence, the ABLE Act has increased the cap for countable assets from $2,000 to $100,000 for eligible people with disabilities.  If an individual receives SSI benefits, his Illinois ABLE account is exempt from the $2,000 individual resource limit up to $100,000.  If and when the Illinois ABLE account exceeds $100,000, the beneficiary’s SSI cash benefit would be suspended until account the balance falls below $100,000, at which time SSI benefits will resume. In other words, beneficiaries will not have to reapply for SSI benefits once their accounts fall back below $100,000. It is important to note that even if the ABLE account exceeds $100,000, beneficiaries will continue to receive Medicaid benefits.

Owning an Illinois ABLE account will not affect SSI, Medicaid, Medicare, HUD or other federal means-tested benefits. For more information about Illinois ABLE, or to enroll, visit IL.SaveWithABLE.com.