Author: Terry Severson, Director of Marketing, First National Bank

We’re wishing a very happy birthday to the ABLE Act, which turns four this year! The ABLE Act, which stands for the ‘Achieving a Better Life Experience’ Act, was created in 2014 as an amendment to the 529 education savings plan—it’s the reason why the Enable Savings Plan Alabama exists today. What made the ABLE Act such a landmark decision? It allowed individuals with disabilities and their families to save sums of over $2,000 a year for the first time in history!

If you’re looking to brush up on your ABLE Act knowledge before wishing it a happy birthday, read up on the fast facts we put together below:

What does the ABLE Act cover?

The ABLE Act covers disability-related expenses including education, housing and transportation, legal fees and basic living expenses. It can be used in conjunction with the benefits provided through private insurance, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and other sources. The Arc—the national community-based organization advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities—compiled a comprehensive list of qualified disability expenses. The full list can be found here.

How did the ABLE Act get its start?

Congress passed the ABLE Act in 2014, which in turn had to be enacted at the local level by each state.  The Alabama Legislature passed the Alabama ABLE Act in June 2015 and the Enable Savings Plan was available to Alabamians in February 2017.

Is there a limit on the total funds I can contribute to an ABLE account?

The maximum amount that can be saved in an Enable Alabama account is $400,000. The total annual contribution limit is $15,000 and contributions exceeding that amount are returned to the contributor. If an Enable Alabama account has reached the maximum limit but funds are removed due to qualified disability expenses, the account will be able to accept new contributions up to the limit.

I don’t live in Alabama, but I want to open up an Enable Savings Plan Alabama account. Can I do that?

Yes, you are free to open an ABLE account outside your state of residency. Before applying, make sure to check which ABLE programs are accepting out-of-state applicants by referring to individual state pages. Enable Savings Plan Alabama is currently open for enrollment to non-Alabama residents.

Because of the ABLE Act, the Enable Alabama Savings Plan has the ability to provide individuals and their families with savings options for disability-related expenses, ensuring that all citizens have equal opportunity to set themselves up for the future and achieve their dreams. For more information on the Enable Savings Plan, visit: