Texas ABLE Program
Having someone in your life or family who has a disability can often mean disability-related expenses. For some, it can also mean needing additional assistance in order to maintain the individual and family’s personal and collective health, independence, and quality of life. The Texas Achieving a Better Life Experience (Texas ABLE) Program exists in order to encourage and support individuals with disabilities and their families. The program helps individuals with special needs save money that can be used to pay for disability-related expenses. The program is established and maintained by the Texas Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board with support from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
To be eligible to receive assistance through the program, an individual must be a Texas resident who developed their qualifying disability before the age of 26. Texas ABLE’s website also includes an Eligibility Wizard, which is an easy online tool that can determine your eligibility to open an account with the program. To open an account, the individual must be 18 years of age and manage their own account. If the eligible individual is under the age of 18 or is unable to exercise signature authority over their account, they will need an Authorized Legal Representative who will help with opening and managing of the account. This individual can be a parent, legal guardian, or a trustee or agent acting under power of attorney.
Expenses that qualify under a Texas ABLE account include any costs incurred at the time when the beneficiary was designated as an eligible individual under the program. Costs can directly relate to blindness or disability of the beneficiary, or simply be associated with maintaining or improving the quality of their health or independence. Expenses related to housing, transportation, employment training, technology, wellness, financial management, funeral and burial expenses, can all qualify under the program. Additionally, other costs may qualify if they are identified by the IRS. Qualified disability expenses also include basic living expenses and cover items that involve medical necessity.
Navigating the process for getting enrolled as a beneficiary in the Texas ABLE program can be challenging if this is your first time or you are new to the process. This is why potential beneficiaries and eligible individuals and their guardians are encouraged to contact an experienced attorney who is familiar with such programs and other support opportunities. The Texas ABLE program can provide significant benefits for you and your loved ones; however, an ABLE account is just one element of a Houston special needs plan. Those interested in creating a plan to provide for the continued support of a loved one with special needs should reach out to a dedicated special needs planning attorney for assistance.
Contact a Houston Estate and Special Needs Planning Attorney
If you or someone you know has a Houston special needs planning question or concern, the experienced attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC, can help you. The attorneys at our office provide our clients with a holistic approach to all aspects of estate planning, including fundamental estate planning such as wills, living trusts, and medical powers of attorney, elder law, veterans’ benefits, estate administration, charitable planning, special needs planning, and asset protection. Estate planning aids individuals ensure that all aspects of their life and future receive the care and attention it deserves. We take care to address our clients’ concerns and wishes while providing them with effective and useful documents. Contact our office at 713-333-8900 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.