CalABLE allows participants to easily open and maintain their accounts online, averaging less than 10 minutes to create the account. A CalABLE account is opened in the person’s name who has the qualifying disability. When the CalABLE account is opened, you will be asked to provide an email address. You will also be asked to create a user name and password. You will enter basic information, such as your name, address, birth date and Social Security number. (If you are a parent or other authorized legal representative opening an account for someone else, you will need to enter your information plus the CalABLE owner’s information.) Be sure to have your bank or credit union account information available so that arrangements can be made to transfer funds back and forth. A few questions will be asked regarding the beneficiary’s disability in order to confirm eligibility. Once your account is open, you can manage it (for example, update your contact information, make a contribution, check your balance or request a withdrawal) by logging into your account on www.CalABLE.ca.gov.
Gather the information you need to open a CalABLE account:
Social Security number, date of birth and contact information for the beneficiary
Social Security number for the authorized legal representative (if different from the account owner/beneficiary)
Bank or credit union account information (account number and routing number)
Basic information such as: email address, birth date, and contact information
Do I need a bank or credit union account to have a CalABLE account?
Yes, CalABLE will need a bank or credit union routing and account number to allow for funds to be deposited into the CalABLE account. Funds from CalABLE can also be transferred to that account when you want to pay for Qualified Disability Expenses.
Please note: CalABLE funds being withdrawn for housing expenses must be spent within the same month as the withdrawal.
Decide what is right for you and open an account. Have the account’s routing and account numbers ready for when you open your CalABLE account.
If you have a bank or credit union account already:
Make sure that you have your routing and account number ready. Contact your bank or credit union if you need help identifying this information.
How do I choose an investment option?
When opening your CalABLE account, you can choose from four options that include savings and investment options. You will need to think about future needs, costs, and savings goals over time, and think about how much risk tolerance you are willing to take to grow your or your family member’s savings. If you want to change the way the money in your CalABLE account is invested, you can make changes to investments up to two times per year. To start, you could choose to save within the interest bearing, FDIC insured account, and as you save more, then you can look at the other investment options.
There is no cost to open a CalABLE account. The first deposit and all deposits thereafter must be at least $25. The annual fee for the FDIC CalABLE account totals $37, collected by deducting $3.08 from your CalABLE account monthly. If you want paper statements, there is an additional fee of $10 per year. There is a $20 fee charged if your electronic funds transfer is rejected or if a check bounces. It is important that CalABLE owners monitor their accounts to make sure there are sufficient funds to cover the fees and make sure they are not charged overdraft fees.
If you choose to request a paper check rather than transfer funds online electronically from your account, you will be charged a $5 fee for each time you request a check withdrawal to pay a bill from your CalABLE account.
Have a plan for checking your account on a regular basis (for example, weekly or monthly) to ensure you have enough money in your account to cover fees, withdrawals and transfers made to your other checking accounts.
Extra SSI/SSDI income* (SSI needs to be spent on housing and food each month. Extra SSI can be saved within ABLE.)
SSI/SSDI back payments
Large windfall payments up to $15,000 (per calendar year)
Pension, inheritance, alimony, child support (up to $15,000)
Surplus money from your spending plan
Special Needs Trust and/or Pooled Trust
529 College Savings up to $15,000 can be rolled over to CalABLE
Income tax refund
Earned income; a person who does not choose to participate in an employer sponsored retirement account, may save up to an additional $12,140 from their earnings, within ABLE. Then deposits could total up to $27,140 for one calendar year: that is $12,140 from earnings with an additional $15,000 in contributions from possible sources listed above.
Contributions to a CalABLE account must be by cash, money order or direct transfer. Securities, property or other assets may not be deposited into an ABLE account.
Please note: Earned and unearned income, are countable sources of income that may affect SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and public benefit eligibility. Earned income is subject to Social Security Administration countable earnings calculation. Contributions made directly into ABLE from family and friends are not countable income.
ABLE savings of up to $100,000 does not change SSI eligibility. ABLE savings of any amount does not change eligibility for any type of Medicaid. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare do not have resource limits, so any amount of ABLE savings does not change eligibility for SSDI, Medicare or even SNAP or HUD benefits.
Identify ways to save money within your spending plan that can be added to your CalABLE account. By preparing a spending plan, a person can learn how much is needed for their monthly expenses. Surplus money can be saved within CalABLE monthly. Learn how to prepare a spending plan.
Take the America Saves pledge for yourself and create a simple savings plan that works. When taking the pledge select “disability related expenses” as an option to receive tips and learn even more strategies on how to save for your CalABLE account.
Receive SSI and/or SSDI? Explore work supports to help you further your education, increase your earnings and savings now and for retirement.
How do I build my support network?
A CalABLE account is owned by you, the individual with a qualifying disability. However, CalABLE accounts allow friends, family, an employer, and the CalABLE account owner to deposit money directly into the CalABLE account. In order to maximize allowable contributions, and better meet your financial goals, you may want to consider building your “Circle of Support.”
You could invite a parent, guardian or Representative Payee to join your circle of support. You can work closely with people in your circle of support to learn how to increase your CalABLE savings.
The AchievABLE™ Corner was developed by National Disability Institute with generous funding from Wells Fargo Foundation.
Materials from Hands on Banking® – a free, online financial education program – were used in the creation of the AchievABLE™ Corner.
For more information about the AchievABLE™ Corner or to report any issues you have,
please email Kathy Brannigan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AchievABLE™ Corner is committed to providing accurate and reliable information. While we aim to provide all materials in accessible formats on our site, we cannot guarantee the accessibility of materials on third-party websites. In addition, the AchievABLE™ Corner is not responsible for and cannot confirm the accuracy of all content on third-party websites.
The terms and conditions of a CalABLE account are governed by the CalABLE Program Disclosure Statement and Participation Agreement (CalABLE Disclosure Statement). In the event of a conflict between information appearing on this website and the CalABLE Disclosure Statement, the information in the CalABLE Disclosure Statement will govern. Click here for a copy of the CalABLE Disclosure Statement or visit https://calable.ca.gov for more information.