Frequently Asked Questions
|Click on the questions below for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about MiABLE savings accounts. If you have further questions, please call 844-656-7225 to speak to a MiABLE customer service representative.|
|What is MiABLE?|
The Michigan Able Act was signed into law in October 2015, following passage in December 2014 of the federal Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which authorized states to establish tax-advantaged savings programs for individuals with a disabilities.
The goal is to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds that help individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence and quality of life without jeopardizing benefits provided through private insurance, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, the beneficiary's employment and other sources.
Download Video: MP4: The ABLE Act and its History
|Why were MiABLE accounts created?|
Individuals with disabilities and their families depend on a wide variety of public benefits for income, health care, food and housing assistance. Many of these benefits require meeting a means or resource test that limits the eligibility of individuals who report more than $2,000 in cash savings, retirement funds and other items of significant value.
For the first time, the legislation that enabled creation of MiABLE accounts recognizes the extra and significant costs of living with a disability. MiABLE accounts provide eligible individuals the opportunity to save and fund a variety of qualified expenses without endangering eligibility for certain benefits that are critical to their health and well-being, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.
|Who's in charge of MiABLE?|
The MiABLE program is administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury, and investment services are managed by TSA Consulting Group.
|Who is eligible for a MiABLE account?|
In general, individuals are eligible if they became disabled or blind before the age of 26 and are entitled to either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. Take our quiz here or call 844-656-7225 to determine eligibility.
|What are the deposit and asset limits for a MiABLE account?|
Currently, the annual contribution limit is capped at $15,000. On top of that limit, beneficiaries who are employed can contribute an amount equal to their current-year gross income, up to $12,060.
The first $100,000 in a MiABLE account is not considered when determining eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. If the account exceeds $100,000, the designated beneficiary could lose monthly SSI benefits.
In addition, a MiABLE account is considered a 529 account by the IRS, and the maximum contribution limit for all Michigan 529 plans combined for a designated beneficiary is $500,000.
Download Video: MP4: Deposit Limits/Assets/Clawback
|How can a MiABLE account be used?|
A MiABLE account must be used for "qualified disability expenses" that relate to the beneficiary's blindness or disability and benefit the person in maintaining or improving his or her health, independence or quality of life. More specifics on qualified expenses are available here.
Download Video: MP4: How Can I Use the Money
Download Video: MP4: Using a MiABLE Account For Gift Giving
|Can eligible individuals have more than one account?|
No. Individuals are limited to one account, although anyone can contribute to it.
Download Video: MP4: Can You Have More Than One Account
|Are beneficiaries older than 26 eligible for MiABLE accounts?|
They're still potentially eligible if the onset of their disability occurred before age 26.
|Are beneficiaries who are not currently receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance eligible for a MiABLE account?|
Yes, provided the onset of their disability occurred before age 26 and they obtain a "disability certification" signed by a qualified physician.
|What are the savings options in a MiABLE account?|
|How is a MiABLE account different from a special needs trust?|
A MiABLE account is a complement to a special needs trust, not a replacement. Benefits associated with a MiABLE account include cost-effectiveness, broader spending power, easy account access, a Michigan tax deduction, no federal tax on earnings and the ability to crowd-fund accounts.
Download Video: MP4: Do I Need a MiABLE Account if I Already Have a Special Needs Trust
|How should I document expenses?|
You are not required to submit documentation showing whether withdrawals are qualified. However, the IRS may request documentation that the total withdrawals did not exceed disability-related expenses for a tax year if it is conducting an audit. The Social Security Administration may also request withdrawal details. So it's a good idea to retain adequate documentation.
|What are the MiABLE tax advantages?|
Savings in a MiABLE account grow tax-free, and distributions - including any earnings - are not taxed if used for qualified disability expenses. Furthermore, Michigan state income taxpayers can claim up to a $5,000 deduction for single filers and $10,000 for joint filers for MiABLE contributions.
If a distribution is not used for a qualified disability expense, it could be subject to income tax and a 10 percent penalty. Distributions not used for qualified disability expenses could also affect other benefits.
Download Video: MP4: What are the Tax Advantages
|How can I request a debit card for my MiABLE account?|
|Is there a fee to receive expense payments by check?|
There is a $10 processing fee when requesting a payment by check.
|Do I need to live in Michigan to have a MiABLE account?|
No, you do not need to live in the state of Michigan to have a MiABLE account. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you may open an account.
Download Video: MP4: Do I Need to be a Michigan Resident to Contribute to MiABLE
|How do I open a MiABLE account?|
|External Links for more info:|