What Is a Qualified Expense?

PA ABLE accounts can be used to pay for any items or services that you need as a result of living with a disability. These are called Qualified Disability Expenses and should help improve your quality of life and health.

Types of Qualified Disability Expenses

PA ABLE accounts can be used to save and pay for a wide-range of disability-related expenses. Expenses do not need to be "medically necessary" and do not need to be for the sole benefit of the account owner.

Disability-related expenses include the following categories and examples.

  • Education: Examples may include tuition for preschool through postsecondary education, books, supplies, and educational materials.
  • Housing: Examples may include purchase of a primary residence, mortgage payments, property taxes, rent, utilities, home modifications, maintenance, and repairs.
  • Transportation: Examples may include using public transportation, purchase or modification of vehicles.
  • Employment Training and Support: Examples may include job-related training and costs to help obtain or maintain employment.
  • Assistive Technology and Personal Support Services: Examples may include communication devices, hearing aids, mobility aids, and residence or vehicle modifications to improve accessibility and accommodate their disability.
  • Health: Examples may include mental health, medical, dental, and vision expenses not covered by insurance, such as insurance premiums, doctor visits, prescriptions, medical equipment, habilitation or rehabilitation, therapy, personal care attendants, in-home support services, and long-term care.
  • Prevention and Wellness: Examples may include nutritional management, respite care, fall prevention tools, bed rails, adaptive exercise equipment, specialized hygiene products, and medical monitoring devices.
  • Financial Management and Administrative: Examples may include hiring a financial planner and tax preparation services.
  • Legal Fees: Examples may include legal costs to establish and manage a PA ABLE account.
  • Oversight and Monitoring: Examples may include hiring caregivers, personal attendants, or supervisors to ensure the individual's safety and well-being.
  • Funeral and Burial Services: Examples may include memorial service arrangements, burial plot or cremation fee, and burial site markers.
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Access Your Funds Any Time

You can access your PA ABLE funds at any time for any purpose.

You can make a withdrawal online, by phone, or by submitting a withdrawal request form (PDF).

If you have the PA ABLE checking option, you’ll also be able to use your money with a debit card or ATM, or check.

Be aware that using your funds for Non-Qualified Expenses may have tax consequences and can impact a person's eligibility for certain benefits.

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Documenting Your Expenses

You are not required to submit documentation to PA ABLE showing whether withdrawals are for Qualified Disability Expenses.

However, it’s still important to keep adequate documentation for any potential Social Security Administration (SSA) requirements or Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax audits.

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Qualified Expenses – Frequently Asked Questions

You can use your account to pay for Qualified Disability Expenses. An expense is “qualified” if:

You incurred the expense at a time when you were considered an Eligible Individual (see “Eligibility” above);

  1. The expense relates to your disability.
  2. The expense does not need to be “medically necessary”, nor does it need to be for the sole benefit of the Eligible Individual.

If you use your account for any Non-Qualified Expenses, there are likely to be tax consequences. You may need to pay federal and state income tax on any growth your contributions earned, plus an additional 10% federal tax on that growth. Additionally, the Non-Qualified funds you withdraw could affect your eligibility for means-tested benefits programs, like Medical Assistance (Medicaid) or SSI.

PA ABLE does not require documentation of how you are using your ABLE account, however you should maintain accurate records for tax purposes.

You can make withdrawals online, by phone, with a debit card or checks (if applicable), or with a Withdrawal Request form.

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