Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts*

Qualified individuals with disabilities from South Dakota may contribute up to $15,000 a year to an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account without jeopardizing eligibility for federally- and state-funded, means-tested benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid. Although South Dakota does not have its own ABLE program, many state ABLE programs allow South Dakotans to open an account.

ABLE accounts are made possible by the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act passed by Congress in 2014 and South Dakota's ABLE law which became effective July 1, 2016. Previously, individuals receiving assistance through Social Security, Medicaid and other publicly-funded programs could save a maximum of $2,000 before they started to lose their benefits. Now, with the launch of nationwide ABLE programs, individuals with disabilities that occurred before the age of 26 and their families may be able to contribute up to $15,000 per year ($100,000 maximum account balance) to a tax-exempt ABLE account without affecting the individual's eligibility for state and federal benefits. The funds can be used for qualified disability-related expenses including education, assistive technology, personal support services, housing, healthcare and transportation.

ABLE accounts are similar to 529 college savings accounts and Roth IRAs. Account options may include a cash account (ex. checking or money market account) and a variety of investment portfolios with varying degrees of risk.

The State of South Dakota does not offer its own ABLE program but several States have sponsored programs that are open to residents of South Dakota and other states. Summary information on ABLE programs that accept South Dakotans as account holders.

Visit ABLE National Resource Center to access educational resources, including free videos and informational webinars.

* IMPORTANT: The information contained on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax or investment advice. The South Dakota Investment Council does not recommend or endorse, nor is responsible for, any state ABLE program. Investments in an ABLE program may not be insured and may be subject to financial market conditions. Before you invest in any state's ABLE program, please read the program description and disclosure statement and carefully consider the plan's objectives, risks, and expenses. Although we have attempted to provide accurate summary information, the South Dakota Investment Council makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content on this website. (Updated February 28, 2018.)