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Saving doesn’t have to limit disability benefits

A person who was hurt at work or has become disabled may find that his or her income has been reduced. Programs exist that provide disability benefits to individuals who were injured at work and also for those who become disabled through other means. These programs usually limit the amount of assets that a person may hold without jeopardizing benefit payouts. Luckily, in California and other states, savings programs exist that allow individuals to save money without endangering the income they depend on. 

Individuals who were disabled early in life are eligible for ABLE savings accounts that allow them or another person to deposit up to $15,000 per year into an account that is used for disability-related needs. The Social Security Administration has more information about this program. Another type of account, called the Individual Development Account, allows a person to save money while earning a matched amount. The funds in an IDA are used to start a business or train for a job. 

A PASS account, which stands for Plan to Achieve Self Support, also exists to help disabled individuals save money toward job training or starting a business. The start-up money will eventually allow them to eliminate dependence on SSI or disability benefits. Finally, a special needs trust or a pooled trust can be created to allow an individual to save for his or her needs. 

Disability benefits are an important tool for people who are not able to earn a steady income while they are incapacitated temporarily or permanently. Government programs also exist that allow individuals to save money and still receive their benefits. In California, understanding the policies of the various government programs can be a challenge. Some people choose to consult with an experienced attorney who can provide more information about disability programs. 

Source:, “Four ways persons with disabilities can safely save for the future“, Brenda Long, April 4, 2018