​Maryland's ABLE Program    

​What's New​

About the ABLE ACT

The Federal ABLE Act

On December 19, 2014, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law. This federal law will give many people who acquired disabilities prior to the age of 26 the ability to open tax-exempt bank accounts wit​​​hout losing eligibility for federal means-tested benefits. Funds in these accounts can be used for disability-related expenses. Eligible individuals must open an account in their state of residence, and most states are still working to set up programs to administer these accounts. 

Maryland's ABLE Legislation​

The Maryland General Assembly passed legislation creating the Task Force on Maryland's ABLE Program. The Task Force developed legislative recommendations for establishing a program in Maryland.  The Task Force issued a final report​​ on December 1, 2015.

During the 2016 legislative session, Governor Hogan signed into law HB431, establishing the Maryland ABLE Program. HB431 includes the following provisions:

  • Maryland 529 (formerly College Savings Plans of Maryland) will develop and administer the Maryland ABLE Program. 

  • To ensure that the disability community is involved with program development, a seat has been added to the Maryland 529 Board of Directors for the Secretary of the Department of Disabilities. 

  • Local and State means-tested programs, as well as Federal programs, will not be able to consider ABLE funds when reviewing someone's financial eligibility for those programs. 

  • There will be a $2500 tax deduction for Maryland residents who contribute to a Maryland-administered ABLE account. 

This legislation went into effect July 1, 2016. However, Maryland's ABLE Program is not yet operational. Maryland 529 is currently working on program implementation. The goal is to have the program running by October 2017. ​  For more information, please read MDOD's ABLE Handout​.

"Options for Maryland Residents"

Governor Hogan signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act on April 12th establishing this program in Maryland and approving the first steps in building an ABLE program structure. Several states, such as Ohio and Nebraska, have announced the opening of their ABLE programs beginning this summer.  Due to differences in legislative and legal frameworks, some states have been able to set up programs in a tighter timeframe.  Maryland is working expediently, but also thoughtfully on implementation of ABLE in our state.  Additionally, Maryland will watch the early adopters in order to learn "best practices" that can help improve the state's program.  Maryland ABLE is projected to be operational in Fall of 2017.​

Some programs might be available to out-of-state residents.  If people decide to explore out of state options, they will be able to move existing accounts over to Maryland's program once established.  Maryland's program will offer tax benefits to Maryland residents. 

The National Down Syndrome Society is tracking the development of programs in each state. Click here for their ABLE Program Chart, current as of August 15, 2016.  

If you are wondering which program is right for you, the National ABLE Resource Center​ provides comparisons of the different state programs.

Task Force Meetings
Click here for the archive meeting minutes and materials. 

Additional Resources on the ABLE Act

Several groups are tracking ABLE legislation nationally, including: