Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

The Michigan Able Act was signed into law in October 2015, following passage in December 2014 of the federal Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which authorized states to establish tax-advantaged savings programs for individuals with a disabilities.

The goal is to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds that help individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence and quality of life without jeopardizing benefits provided through private insurance, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, the beneficiary's employment and other sources.

Individuals with disabilities and their families depend on a wide variety of public benefits for income, health care, food and housing assistance. Many of these benefits require meeting a means or resource test that limits the eligibility of individuals who report more than $2,000 in cash savings, retirement funds and other items of significant value.

For the first time, the legislation that enabled creation of MiABLE accounts recognizes the extra and significant costs of living with a disability. MiABLE accounts provide eligible individuals the opportunity to save and fund a variety of qualified expenses without endangering eligibility for certain benefits that are critical to their health and well-being, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.

The MiABLE program is administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury, and investment services are managed by Ascensus.

Currently, the annual contribution limit is capped at $18,000. On top of that limit, beneficiaries who are employed can contribute an amount equal to their current-year gross income, up to $12,060.

The first $100,000 in a MiABLE account is not considered when determining eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. If the account exceeds $100,000, the designated beneficiary could lose monthly SSI benefits.

In addition, a MiABLE account is considered a 529 account by the IRS, and the maximum contribution limit for all Michigan 529 plans combined for a designated beneficiary is $500,000.

A MiABLE account must be used for "qualified disability expenses" that relate to the beneficiary's blindness or disability and benefit the person in maintaining or improving his or her health, independence or quality of life. More specifics on qualified expenses are available above.

No. Individuals are limited to one account, although anyone can contribute to it.

They're still potentially eligible if the onset of their disability occurred before age 26.

Yes, provided the onset of their disability occurred before age 26 and they obtain a "disability certification" signed by a qualified physician.

MiABLE offers options that meet all needs and comfort levels, ranging from conservative to aggressive. More information on MiABLE investment options is available here.

A MiABLE account is a complement to a special needs trust, not a replacement. Benefits associated with a MiABLE account include cost-effectiveness, broader spending power, easy account access, a Michigan tax deduction, no federal tax on earnings and the ability to crowd-fund accounts.

You are not required to submit documentation showing whether withdrawals are qualified. However, the IRS may request documentation that the total withdrawals did not exceed disability-related expenses for a tax year if it is conducting an audit. The Social Security Administration may also request withdrawal details. So it's a good idea to retain adequate documentation.

Ugift® is a feature of your ABLE account that allows friends and family to contribute to your savings in lieu of traditional gifts. It's simple to use - just log in to your account to find your code and share it with friends and family, who can use it at to contribute directly into your account. Learn more by reading our Ugift ABLE FAQ.

Savings in a MiABLE account grow tax-free, and distributions - including any earnings - are not taxed if used for qualified disability expenses. Furthermore, Michigan state income taxpayers can claim up to a $5,000 deduction for single filers and $10,000 for joint filers for MiABLE contributions.

If a distribution is not used for a qualified disability expense, it could be subject to income tax and a 10 percent penalty. Distributions not used for qualified disability expenses could also affect other benefits.

There is no processing fee when requesting a payment by check.

No, you do not need to live in the state of Michigan to have a MiABLE account. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you may open an account.

Eligible individuals can open the account for themselves, or an authorized individual can open an account on their behalf. There are a few requirements that individuals with disabilities must meet to be able to have an account.

You're eligible if:

  • Your disability was present before the age of 26; and
  • One of the following is true:
    • You are eligible for SSI or SSDI because of a disability
    • You experience blindness as determined by the Social Security Act; OR
    • You have a similarly severe disability with a written diagnosis from a licensed physician that can be produced if requested.

You must self-certify that you have one of the following:

  • Blindness as defined by the Social Security Act (SSA); OR
  • A medically determinable physical or mental impairment with marked severed function limitation that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 continuous months or result in death;
    • AND you must have a written disability-related diagnosis signed by a physician.

You must re-certify annually.

(Proof of eligibility is not required to open an account. However, you should maintain a record of your diagnosis, benefits verification letter or other relevant documents in the event that you are required to prove eligibility at a later time.)

A Qualified Disability Expense is:

  1. An expense you incurred when you were an Eligible Individual.
  2. The expense relates to your disability.
  3. The expense helps you maintain or improve your health, independence, or quality of life.
  4. Any expenses related to the eligible individual’s blindness or disability that are made for the benefit of the eligible individual who is the designated beneficiary, including the following expenses but not limited to:
    • Education
    • Health and wellness
    • Housing
    • Transportation
    • Legal fees
    • Financial management
    • Employment training and support
    • Assistive technology
    • Personal support services
    • Oversight and monitoring
    • Funeral and burial expenses

The earnings portion of the withdrawal will be treated as income, so it will be taxed at your tax rate, and will be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty and applicable state taxes.

Recent ABLE regulations expanded the list of Authorized Individuals who can open an ABLE account. In some instances, no backup documentation is required to prove Financial Authority to act on behalf of the ABLE Account Owner. For additional details, click here.