To help friends and family grow a loved one’s ABLE account, we created a special Gifting Form to facilitate the process. Fill out the information about the beneficiary and their ABLE account, and include a check of at least $10 made payable to the Maryland ABLE with the amount you want to gift. The money will go directly into their ABLE account, without affecting their benefits. Then, mail the check and the top part of the form to the address included. As a final step, you can give the detachable gift certificate to the beneficiary for their records. You can also allow friends and family to contribute to an ABLE account by creating an online gifting page.
A person with any disability that qualifies for SSI or SSDI or blindness that developed before the age of 26 is eligible for an account. Some of the conditions recognized by the Social Security Administration that could qualify based on the level of severity include: blindness, Down Syndrome, hearing loss (deafness), epilepsy, autism/Asperger and more. Those who don’t receive Social Security benefits are still eligible if they are able to get a signed Diagnosis Form from a licensed physician.
You must self-certify that you have a licensed doctor’s diagnosis and signature or that you have a signed letter from a licensed doctor confirming that you meet the qualifying disability criteria. Proof of documentation could be requested for any audit completed by the Internal Revenue Service.
A diagnosis from a licensed doctor of blindness or a physical or mental impairment which results in “marked and severe functional limitations” lasting for a continuous 12 months or longer or which can be expected to result in death. The certification must state that the disability occurred before the date on which the beneficiary turned 26, and include the individual’s diagnosis signed by a licensed physician.
You have plenty of options when it comes to managing multiple banks and/or beneficiaries. If you’re an ALR of more than one account, you can use the same banking information on multiple Maryland ABLE accounts, as long as you own or are the Authorized Legal Representative (ALR) of those accounts. Otherwise, each beneficiary can use one or more bank accounts in their or the ALR’s name.
There can only be one Authorized Legal Representative per account, but you can transfer an ALR by filling out this form or calling us at 1-855-5MD-ABLE (1-855-563-2253) from 9am-5pm ET or 1-844-888-2253 (TTY) from 9am-8pm ET.
You can use money from an ABLE account for housing expenses. If you’re eligible for SSI, the money must be used within the month it was withdrawn so it doesn’t count as income for the month in determining your SSI eligibility. Plus, having an ABLE account doesn’t affect other housing benefits, like Section 8.
You’ll have to pay taxes on any non-eligible expense, plus a 10% penalty on the earnings portion of the withdrawal. A withdrawal used for a non-eligible expense could affect your eligibility for SSI benefits, Medicaid or other much-needed benefits under federal or state programs, as could a withdrawal that is applied to a housing expense in any month after the month of the withdrawal.
Maybe. Qualified disability expenses may differ from beneficiary to beneficiary depending on their disability. A vacation could qualify as an eligible expense if it maintains or improves the health, independence, or quality of life of the person living with a disability.
A "qualified disability expense" means any expense related to the beneficiary as a result of living a life with disabilities. These may include education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology, personal support services, health care expenses, financial management and administrative services and other expenses which help improve health, independence, and/or quality of life.
Some states offer parity, meaning that the contributor’s state of residence may offer a state deduction for putting money into another state’s plan. It would be dependent upon each state’s individual program.
As long as the money in your Maryland ABLE account is used for eligible expenses, it won’t be counted as income for your state or federal taxes. If a purchase doesn’t qualify as an eligible expense, you’ll have to pay taxes and a 10% penalty on the amount. If you want to know more about the IRS regulations, you can find info here.
Once you are ready to enroll, you can set up your account here on line. When opening a Maryland ABLE account, have ready information about the beneficiary, qualifying disability, and how the ABLE account will be funded.
Here are a few ways to get answers. You can contact us online, give us a call Monday through Friday, at 1-855-563-2253 from 9am-5pm ET or 1-844-888-2253 (TTY) from 9am-8pm ET, or you can browse frequently asked questions.