Helping to make life better.
There's no limit to what people with disabilities can do. Now, that includes saving, too.
With NC ABLE, you can save for qualified disability expenses without losing your eligibility for certain assistance programs, like SSI and Medicaid.
Save with special tax advantages.
The earnings on your investments are federally tax-deferred and tax-free, if used for qualified disability expenses.1 That can help your savings compound, earning returns on your returns.
Maintain your current benefits.
- Balances of $100,000 or less are excluded from your SSI resource limit.
- Only the amount OVER $100,000 is counted against your limit, along with assets held in non-ABLE accounts.
- If your account causes you to exceed the SSI resource limit, then your SSI benefits will be suspended until the account balance no longer exceeds your resource limit.2
- You'll continue to be eligible for Medicaid, regardless of your account balance.3
Open an account in minutes.
Just tell us a little bit about yourself and select your investments. That's it. You can easily access your account at any time, from a PC, tablet, or mobile device. Plus, you can get started with as little as $25.
Make withdrawals easily.
With NC ABLE, you can access your savings by:
- going online
- calling us
- mailing a paper form
- debit card or check, when you contribute to the Fifth Third Bank Checking Option
Avoid hidden fees.
The annualized investment costs on assets per investment option range from 0.34% to 0.38%, depending on which investment option(s) you select. Each Account is charged an account maintenance fee of $15 each quarter. This fee can be discounted by $3.75 if you select email delivery for statements and confirmations.
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.)
What are Qualified Disability Expenses?
These are ANY expenses that are incurred as a result of living with a disability and are intended to improve your quality of life.
Qualified expenses include, but are not limited to:
- Health and wellness
- Legal fees
- Financial management
- Employment training and support
- Assistive technology
- Personal support services
- Oversight and monitoring
- Funeral and burial expenses
When savings is used for non-qualified 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. However, you should have a record of the doctor's signed diagnosis, a benefits verification letter from the Social Security Administration or other relevant documentation for account verification, as needed.
Not at the time of the withdrawal. Annually, NC ABLE will report the total amount of your withdrawals to the IRS and the date and amount of each of your withdrawals to the Social Security Administration. In the event that either entity wants to verify the expenses, it’s recommended that you keep detailed records.
No. You're limited to one ABLE account, except in the case of a rollover from another qualified ABLE program. This extends beyond NC ABLE to include accounts in other ABLE programs.
In the case of a rollover to an ABLE account for the same account owner, the account from which the funds are withdrawn must be closed within 60 days of the withdrawal.
Up to $15,000 per year. No further contributions may be made until the start of the next calendar year. Account balance limit: $450,000.
Absolutely. Anyone can contribute directly to your account. No matter who contributes, you, the account owner or authorized individual, retain control over the account.
Twice per calendar year. You can change your investment options for any NEW contributions at any time.
These are contributions of a specific amount made automatically into your account on a custom frequency basis. For example, you can set up recurring contributions of $25 per month. This makes the process of investing very simple.
This automatically moves funds from one investment option to another.
This is a way of making automatic withdrawals, such as when you'd like to use your account to make payments each month. You can make systematic withdrawals to the bank listed on your account, by mail to your address, or to a third party.
An asset or item purchased with the hope of a gain in the future.
1Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as applicable state and local income taxes.
2Please see the Plan Disclosure Documents for complete details on SSI suspension and any requirements on when you use the funds, to prevent suspension of benefits.
3 To the extent provided in subsection 26 U.S.C. §529A(f) upon the death of the Account Owner, the Member State shall have a claim for payment from the Account Owner in an amount equal to the total medical assistance paid for the Account Owner after the establishment of the account. The Member State may file its claim for repayment from the account with the State Treasurer within 60 days of receiving notice from the State Treasurer of the death of the Account Owner. Any remaining funds in the Account Owner's Account shall be distributed as provided in the Plan Disclosure Documents or distributed to the Account Owner's estate if no other designation is made.