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Frequently asked questions

Scroll down to see answers to things we get asked a lot. If you're looking for something specific, enter or choose a keyword below.

What is the ABLE Act?
The Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act is federal legislation, signed by President Obama on December 19, 2014 (Public Law 113-295), creating tax-advantaged savings accounts for people with disabilities. The Maryland ABLE Act (2016 Maryland Laws Ch. 39 (H.B. 431)) was signed... Read more
What does the ABLE Act do?
It gives states the opportunity to develop tax-advantaged savings programs for eligible people with disabilities. These saving programs provide the opportunity for people with disabilities to maintain eligibility for federal and state benefits while saving money to cover qualified disability... Read more
What are ABLE accounts?
ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings programs for eligible people with disabilities. They are established under the name of the beneficiary (i.e. the person with a qualified disability). Each person can only have one ABLE account. Assets in an ABLE account grow tax-free and can be withdrawn... Read more
Can I still work and have an account?

You can still work and have a Maryland ABLE account, but there are some rules and guidelines you should know about.

Who can open an ABLE account?
ABLE accounts can be opened for eligible U.S. citizens and legal residents living in any state in the United States, regardless of whether the state has an ABLE program.  An adult beneficiary with a qualifying disability can open and manage a Maryland ABLE account or have an Authorized Legal... Read more
Can a Social Security Representative Payee open an account for a beneficiary?
Yes. A Representative Payee (individual or organization) can open an account for the beneficiary, acting as their Authorized Legal Representative (also known as an ALR),  if there is no one higher on the hierarchy who can, and they have been selected by the beneficiary or the beneficiary is unable... Read more
What does eligible mean?
The test for determining eligibility for an ABLE account is found in Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code.  To be eligible, the onset of the disability must be before age 26.*  A person who is entitled to benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability... Read more
What is disability certification?
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... Read more
Can I be over the age of 26 and open an ABLE account?

Yes. You can be over the age of 26, but must be able to self-certify, or provide a disability certification, that your qualifying disability started before your 26th birthday.*

*The ABLE Age Adjustment Act has been passed, expanding the eligibility age from 26 to 46, beginning January 1, 2026.

What are the documentation requirements?

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.