Saving money is important. It might seem impossible now, but taking small steps can move you toward a brighter future.
If you're on benefits, savings programs like ABLE accounts, Individual Development Accounts and the Plan to Achieve Self-Support can help you save.
ABLE stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience. ABLE accounts help you save money to pay for qualified expenses without being taxed on the earnings — and, in most cases, without losing eligibility for benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medical Assistance (MA). You can open an ABLE account if your disability began before you were age 26.
Trusts are a way money can be set aside for a person with disabilities without affecting benefits. The money in a trust isn't counted as an asset for public benefits. Trusts are set up with the help of a lawyer and must be approved by the court, with rules about how the money can be used. Each trust has an assigned person, or trustee, who makes sure the money in the trust is used for the intended purpose.
Individual Development Accounts, or IDAs, are special savings accounts meant to save money for a specific goal — like buying a house, paying for school or training, or funding a small business. IDAs don't count as an asset for most benefit programs. The great thing about IDAs is that the money you put into an IDA is matched by the program. The match may be anywhere from one to four times the amount of your deposit.
If you're getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security's Plan to Achieve Self-Support, or PASS, program lets you save money for a work-related goal that will help you become self-sufficient. You can use a PASS to help pay for the cost of school or training, start a business, or pay for equipment, support services or other expenses related to your goal. PASS protects your income while you save.