[5/6/2019 (12:58 PM ET) – The original version of this post linked to the wrong notice; the links have been corrected.]
In late April, HUD published a notice titled “Treatment of ABLE Accounts in HUD-Assisted Programs” (PIH 2019-09). The notice states that for the purpose of determining eligibility and continued occupancy, HUD and HUD program administrators must disregard amounts in an individual’s Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) account. These accounts are established by states and allow for contributions to be made to the account to benefit the designated beneficiary for qualified disability expenses. According to the notice, “[t]he designated beneficiary must be a person with disabilities, whose disability began prior to [his, her, or their] 26th birthday and who meets the statutory eligibility requirements.”
The notice requires that the entire value of the ABLE account be excluded, including actual or imputed interest on the ABLE account balance. Additionally, distributions from the ABLE account are also not considered income.
Owners and PHAs should develop a policy and procedure for verifying ABLE accounts that obtains the following:
- the name of the designated beneficiary; and
- the State ABLE program administering the account to verify that the account qualifies as an ABLE account.
This notice applies to the public housing program; the housing choice voucher program; project-based section 8; Section 202/162 project assistance contract; Section 202 project rental assistance contract; Section 202 senior preservation rental assistance contracts; Section 811 project rental assistance contract; Section 811 project rental assistance; Section 236; and Section 221(d)(3) and Section 221(d)(5) below market interest rate.
The full notice can be found here.