Understanding ABLE Accounts

  • The able account and special needs planning, is able right for you?

    In order to be eligible to receive Social Security Disability funds, a person’s bank accounts and money cannot go over $2,000. This has been a problem because people haven’t been able to save money while getting Social Security Disability (SSI).  ABLE accounts allow people with disabilities to save more than $2,000 to use on qualified disability expenses.

    • Currently in Massachusetts, Fidelity is the only financial institution offering this type of account. 
    • Contact Fidelity online at Fidelity Website or via phone at 844-458-2253

    The ABLE account is meant to help with this problem

    • This is an account available to anyone with a documented disability (documented before age 26).
    • The money in this account isn’t taxed and you can use it on “qualified disability expenses”.
    • You can also choose to use this account for investing.
    • Each person can only have one ABLE account.
    • Right now in Massachusetts, Fidelity Investments is the only company that offers ABLE accounts.

    What are “qualified disability expenses”?

    • For health, independence, quality of life (like education, housing/rent, transportation, employment/uniforms, training and support, assistive technologies, personal support services, health/doctors, basic living expenses).
    • Keep records of expenses in a safe place either an envelope at home or take a picture and save it on your computer.

    How much money can be in this account?

    • Between $30 (minimum) and $400,000 (maximum).
    • BUT if you have more than $100,000, your Social Security benefits can be suspended. Insurance won’t be affected.
    • Up to $15,000 can be deposited per year.

    Who can deposit?

    • You, family, or friends. 

    What if I want to use the money?

    • If you want to use cash from this account, you will need to withdraw money from the account before making a purchase (use these funds to pay for the purchase).
    • To get money: either use Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) (a way to transfer money from one account to another), request a check by calling on the phone with the amount you’d like, or transfer to another Fidelity account.
    • You can also pay yourself back if you use your personal bank account for qualified expenses. 

    How do I use EFT?

    • Log into your Fidelity ABLE account online and connect it to your personal banking account.
    • You can set it up to transfer every week, month, or other period of time, or just a one time transfer (after your paycheck gets deposited, so your bank account doesn’t go over $2,000).


    • Set weekly balance alerts on your personal bank account to make sure the balance doesn’t get close to $2,000. Some banks will be able to alert you when it reaches a certain amount too.
    • Check your personal bank account’s fees to make sure you won’t be charged a fee for having too much or too little money in it.
    • Keep an accordion file of your receipts, separated by what you spent it on (like transportation, housing, food, or health).