Can Child’s SSI Benefits be Placed in an ABLE Account?
Can some or all of an infant’s SSI benefits be directly deposited into the infant’s ABLE account? Would Medicaid disregard those resources in determining eligibility in Virginia?
Let’s unpack this a bit. First, anyone receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) automatically qualifies for Medicaid. So, the real question has to do with continued eligibility for SSI, for which the beneficiary’s accounts must be kept below $2,000. Second, a child may only receive SSI benefits if their parent or parents are low-income. (And since the child must be shown to be disabled, they are unlikely to begin receiving benefits while still an infant.) It’s unusual for anyone receiving SSI, which is a pretty meager benefit and only available to people who are very low income, to accumulate any savings.
All of the above said, SSI benefits received on behalf of someone who cannot manage them themselves, such as a child, are supposed to be paid into a into a representative payee account. According to the Social Security Administration, the representative payee account can be an ABLE account to avoid exceeding the $2,000 limit. (In the perversity of the system, while there’s a $2,000 limit on assets, up to $100,000 can be held in a qualifying ABLE account as long as the beneficiary became disabled before age 26, to change to age 46 in January 2026.)