I haven't done one of these in awhile. Here is a short post I wrote two years ago today:
Best Article On The ABLE Act
December 22, 2014
The ABLE Act still prompts head-scratching, and I have yet to meet anyone or read anything by a person who is using it. It still seems like a good thing, and slow implementation of these kinds of things is pretty standard. But I also suspect that most disabled people and affected families don't really know what it is or how it's actually supposed to work, apart from a core group of relatively affluent families who are already pretty familiar with setting up tax-free savings accounts.
Now there's apparently a new law just passed that allows disabled people to set up their own Special Needs Trusts, rather than depending on parents or guardians to do it for them. Like the ABLE Act, Special Needs Trusts are meant to help disabled people accumulate and set aside reserve funds for disability-related needs, without affecting eligibility for basic support benefits like SSI and Medicaid. So, this, too, is a good thing, especially since the new provision is specifically meant to underscore that these things aren't just for caregiving families, they're for self-directing disabled adults, too.
Overhanging all of these helpful steps towards good sense and financial stability, there's a much simpler kind of fix ... simply push back the time limits, earnings limits, or both, by a whole lot. Make it so disabled people don't even start losing benefits they are otherwise qualified for until they're making, like, $70,000 per year. Or, remove the time and income limits completely, and add an income surtax that kicks in at higher incomes for disabled people who use government support and health care. Because any of us could earn big bucks one year, be unemployable next year, and be working half time or a few hours a week the year after that, based on the ups and downs of our disabilities, and other factors. Let us keep the stability of benefits while we build on that base ... and if we do really well, make us pay some back through the IRS, but keep the eligibility going.
Anyway, that's what I would do, if I was in charge of everything.