Is a Disabled Person with Savings Eligible for Medicaid?

Las Vegas's Estate Planning Resource

I am a social worker at a state facility for people with developmental disabilities. Most of the men I work with function at about 12 to 14 years of age. I am working with a gentleman who makes minimum wage and works six hours a day. He can’t have more than $1,800 in the bank or he will not be eligible for health benefits, so he has to spend his money. Otherwise, the state will take it.

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In this case, the social worker is trying to help the disabled person find something he can buy that will still have value.

She says he can’t buy gold. He could buy a watch, but not more than one.’s recent article entitled “Can a disabled person have savings and qualify for Medicaid?” says that the social worker is probably talking about Medicaid eligibility.

A participant is allowed to have non-countable assets of no more than $2,000.

If the man exhibited his disabilities before age 26, he can own an ABLE account. That is a tax-advantaged savings account for a person with disabilities authorized by the enactment of the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014, which is called the “ABLE Act.”

An ABLE account can be funded with up to $15,000 in 2020.

Employees who aren’t participating in employer retirement plans can make an additional contribution up to the lesser of the employee’s compensation for the tax year or $12,490 in 2020.

Assets in the account are excluded from Medicaid resource limits. Balances of less than $100,000 are excluded from SSI asset limits.

The money in an ABLE account can be used for Qualified Disability Expenses. These are any expenses that are related to the account owner’s disability that assists him or her in maintaining his or her health, independence or quality of life.

Qualified Disability Expenses can include education, housing, transportation, job training and support, assistive technology and related services, personal support services, health and prevention and wellness.

Talk to an experienced elder law attorney or Medicaid planning lawyer about the specifics for your state.