Health and Safety
Individuals with Disabilities
CHAPTER 96A. Delaware Achieving a Better Life Experience Savings Accounts
The purpose of this chapter is to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life. This chapter enables the State to implement the federal Stephen J. Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014, Pub. L. No. 113-295, 128 Stat. 4056 et seq. [26 U.S.C. § 529A].80 Del. Laws, c. 34, § 1; 80 Del. Laws, c. 295, § 2;
As used in this chapter, unless otherwise defined in the federal law or federal regulations, which federal definitions shall control:
(1) “Account” means an individual account, a trust account, or a savings account established in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. An account may be established only for an eligible individual.
(2) “Account owner” means the designated beneficiary. A person with signature authority over the account (if other than the designated beneficiary) may neither have nor acquire any beneficial interest in the account and must administer the account for the designated beneficiary.
(3) “Board” shall mean the Plans Management Board pursuant to § 2722 of Title 29.
(4) “Designated beneficiary” means the individual for whom the account was established or who has succeeded the former designated beneficiary in that capacity. If the designated beneficiary is not able to exercise signature authority over his or her account or chooses to have an account established but not to exercise signature authority, references to the designated beneficiary include actions by the person with signature authority over the account.
(5) “Eligible individual” means a resident of any state who is:
a. Entitled to benefits based on blindness or disability under Title II or XVI of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq. or § 1381 et seq.), where such blindness or disability occurred before the date on which the individual attained the age specified in the federal ABLE Act; or
b. An individual with respect to whom a disability certification, meeting the requirements of the federal ABLE Act, is filed.
(6) “Federal ABLE Act” means the Stephen J. Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014, Pub. L. No. 113-295, 128 Stat. 4010, and includes subsequent amendments to that act, as well as regulations promulgated thereunder by the United States Secretary of the Treasury.
(7) “Program” means the Delaware Achieving a Better Life Experience Program established by this chapter.
(8) “Qualified disability expenses” means any expenses incurred at a time when the designated beneficiary is an eligible individual that relate to the blindness or disability of the designated beneficiary, including expenses that are for the benefit of the designated beneficiary in maintaining or improving health, independence, or quality of life; provided, however, that any expenses incurred at a time when a designated beneficiary is neither disabled nor blind are not qualified disability expenses, even if the designated beneficiary is an eligible individual for that entire taxable year.80 Del. Laws, c. 34, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 80 Del. Laws, c. 295, § 2; 83 Del. Laws, c. 293, § 1;
(a) This chapter shall be administered by the Plans Management Board pursuant to § 2722 of Title 29.
(b) The Board may establish, develop, implement and maintain a Delaware Achieving a Better Life Experience Program for all eligible individuals and families for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life. Should a Delaware ABLE program be established, the Board shall ensure and maintain the Program’s status as a “qualified ABLE program” as defined by the federal ABLE Act.
(c) In lieu of the development of a Delaware ABLE program, the Board is authorized to effect this chapter’s purpose through the entry into a consortium, joint venture, or contract with another state or states, or by assisting eligible individuals in Delaware in identifying and accessing ABLE programs established by other states.80 Del. Laws, c. 34, § 1; 80 Del. Laws, c. 295, § 2;
(a) An account may be opened by:
(1) The eligible individual.
(2) A person selected by the eligible individual.
(3) If an eligible individual (whether a minor or adult) is unable to establish his or her own account, the eligible individual’s agent under a power of attorney or, if none, by a conservator or legal guardian, spouse, parent, sibling, grandparent of the eligible individual, or a representative payee appointed for the eligible individual by the Social Security Administration, in that order.
(b) Any person may make a contribution to an account once an account is opened.
(c) Contributions to an account shall be made only in cash, except where otherwise permitted by the federal ABLE Act.
(d) Separate records and accounting shall be required by the Program for each account and reports shall be made no less frequently than annually to the account owner and the designated beneficiary.80 Del. Laws, c. 34, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 83 Del. Laws, c. 293, § 2;
(a) A designated beneficiary may have only 1 account.
(b) No account nor any interest in an account may be used as security for a loan.
(c) Total contributions on behalf of a designated beneficiary may not exceed the limit established under subchapter XII, Chapter 34 of Title 14.
(d) Except as permitted by the federal ABLE Act, no person shall have the right to direct the investment of any contributions to or earnings from the Program.80 Del. Laws, c. 34, § 1;
(a) Accounts established pursuant to this chapter or another state’s ABLE program shall not be included in determining asset eligibility of the designated beneficiary for state or local assistance programs.
(b) Unless prohibited by federal law, upon the death of a designated beneficiary, proceeds from an account may be transferred to the estate of a designated beneficiary, or to an account for another eligible individual specified by the designated beneficiary or the estate of the designated beneficiary.
(c) Upon the death of a designated beneficiary, no agency or instrumentality of the State shall seek payment under § 529A(f) of the Internal Revenue Code [26 U.S.C. § 529A(f)] from the account or its proceeds for benefits provided to a designated beneficiary.80 Del. Laws, c. 34, § 1; 80 Del. Laws, c. 295, § 2; 81 Del. Laws, c. 107, § 1;