ABLE Accounts & Special Needs Trusts

ABLE accounts and special needs trusts are options that individuals who are disabled and rely on government benefits can use.

Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. A Special Needs Trust can be used in addition to an ABLE Account or it can be used separately.

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Special Needs Trusts

Legal Authority:

42 U.S.C. §139p(d)(4)(C)

Eligibility: Open to individuals who are disabled and unable to work.

What: Special needs trusts are designed for individuals who are disabled and unable to work.

Purpose: To protect eligibility for public benefits such as SSI and Medicaid.

Funding Amount: There is no limit on the amount of funds that can be placed into the special needs trust.

Cost: Varies.

  • Benefits of a Special Needs Trust
    Experts protecting your benefit eligibility while utilizing your trust
  • No limitations on the amount in the trust

For more information regarding Special Needs Trust, visit

ABLE Accounts

Legal Authority:

26 U.S.C. § 529A

Eligibility: Only individuals with disabilities and age of onset of disability before turning 26 years of age.

What: ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families.

Purpose: To allow disabled individuals to have additional financial resources without endangering eligibility for SSI and Medicaid.

Funding Amount: Total contribution for a single tax year is $15,000. This amount may be adjusted periodically to account for inflation.

Cost: Varies depending on which state’s ABLE program you choose. Lower cost than a special needs trust.

Benefits of an ABLE Account

  • Minimal cost to set up and administer
  • Beneficiary can manage the funds personally in the ABLE account

For more information regarding ABLE accounts, visit

Disclaimer: This resource provided by CPT Institute is for informational purposes only and arc intended to be used as a non-legal guide prior to consultation with an attorney familiar with your specific legal situation. CPT Institute is not engaged in the practice of law or in rendering legal advice or counsel. No such legal advice or counseling is either expressly or impliedly intended. If you require legal advice, you should seek the services of an attorney. © 2021 CPT Institute All rights reserved.