The TexasABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) program has a website with frequently asked questions, here. CPSH is asking the TexasABLE team questions regarding how the Texas Able account can be used along with the designated beneficiary’s Medicaid benefits. We will keep you informed as we receive answers.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Linda Fernandez <Linda.Fernandez@cpa.texas.gov>
Subject: RE: Texas Able Account and Medicaid Benefits
Date: March 9, 2016 at 5:11:05 PM CST
To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: TexasABLE <TexasABLE@cpa.texas.gov>, "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Robin, thank you for your inquiry.
While final ABLE regulations have not yet been issued by the U.S. Treasury and the Social Security Administration is working on updating their Program Manual Operations System (POMS) for ABLE, it is our understanding that ABLE assets will be disregarded or receive favorable treatment when determining eligibility for most federal means-tested benefits.
For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) determination, the first $100,000 in ABLE account assets will be disregarded. The ABLE Act says that distributions for housing expenses will not be disregarded, but the Social Security Administration has indicated they plan to issue new instructions in the near future related to treating housing expenses as a resource only if distributed from an ABLE savings account in one month and held until the following month.
SSI payments (monthly cash benefit) will be suspended if the beneficiary’s ABLE account balance exceeds $100,000, but SSI benefits (eligibility) will not be terminated. Funds in an ABLE account in excess of $100,000 will be treated as a resource of the designated beneficiary for SSI, but Medicaid benefits would continue. Upon the death of the beneficiary, the federal ABLE Act allows for money remaining in an ABLE account, after payment of any outstanding expenses, to be subject to a reimbursement claim by the state Medicaid plan for medical expenses that were paid by Medicaid for the designated beneficiary during the period that their ABLE account was open. The State of Texas Medicaid plan will work with our office to implement that provision.
For information on how the funds in an ABLE account can be used, see the list of “qualified disability expenses” on our website athttp://texasable.org/faqs/.
Our contacts at HHSC related to ABLE are Janice Quertermous, Dee Church and Gina Perez. That agency is the expert on providing guidance related to using an ABLE savings account in concert with Medicaid benefits.
Let me know if you have any additional questions.
Linda A. Fernandez
Director of the Educational Opportunities and Investment Division
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Central Services Building (CSB)
1711 San Jacinto Blvd., Room 202
Austin, TX 78711
800.531.5441, ext. 3-4863 (Toll Free Phone)
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