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Tax/Housing: HUD Issues Guidance on Treatment of ABLE Accounts

The U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD) recently issued long-awaited guidance clarifying that
funds in ABLE accounts should not be included in determining a person’s
eligibility for means-tested housing assistance. ABLE accounts are available to
people with significant disabilities that developed before the age of 26,
including those who meet the eligibility requirements under Supplemental
Security Income (SSI) or Social Security disability programs, including Social
Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Money in an ABLE account can be used to
cover “qualified disability expenses,” such as housing, education,
and transportation. In general, to be eligible for some public benefits that
many people with disabilities and their families rely on, including Medicaid
and housing assistance, an individual is limited to no more than $2,000 in cash
savings, retirement funds, and other items of significant value. ABLE accounts
are an option for people with disabilities to build savings without taking away
their eligibility for these important benefits.

The ABLE
Act states that amounts in an ABLE account or contributions to an ABLE account
and pay-outs for qualified disability expenses should not be counted for
federal means-tested programs. Consistent with Internal Revenue Service and
Social Security Administration policy, the HUD notice clarifies that, for the
purpose of determining eligibility and continued occupancy for a list of key
HUD programs, HUD will disregard amounts in the individual’s ABLE account. Some
people with disabilities and their families have heard confusing or inaccurate
information about whether or not participation in ABLE could threaten their
receipt of other critical federal benefits. The notice is good news for people
in HUD-funded programs and should be helpful in addressing questions about the
treatment of ABLE account funds.

The post Tax/Housing: HUD Issues Guidance on Treatment of ABLE Accounts appeared first on The Capitol Insider.