What you need to know about CalABLE

If you have a physically or mentally disabled child, you know that planning for their future is important. A disabled child requires special care, and that care doesn’t stop when the child turns 18. Many disabled children will require help for the rest of their lives. Planning ahead for their needs is important for parents. Opening a CalABLE account may be a good idea for your family.

Parents of special needs children know how much they think about their children’s future. They know how expensive their children’s needs are and they worry about how they will be able to afford to pay for them as they get older. Having their children qualify for Medicaid is important as Medicaid pays for many expenses. In California, individuals who have a disability that occurred before the age of 26 are eligible to open a CalABLE account.

A CalABLE account allows parents and family members to deposit money for their disabled children to use for qualified expenses. The money put into this account is federal and state tax-free and will not affect your child’s ability to qualify for state and federal benefits.

Qualified expenses for a CalABLE account include:

  • Tuition, books, education expenses, and computers for educational purposes
  • Housing expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, home improvements, and property taxes
  • Transportation expenses including mass transit, vehicle purchase, and taxis
  • Job training
  • Health insurance premiums, medical and dental expenses
  • Therapy
  • Personal care assistance
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Assistive technology
  • Financial management
  • Legal fees

A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning and special needs can help a family plan for their child’s future. There are many ways in which a parent can save money for their child without limiting their access to important government aid.