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Comparing special needs trusts and ABLE accounts in Connecticut

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2022 | Trusts |

Both ABLE accounts and Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) are accounts that protect the assets of individuals with special needs. They allow for financial planning, as well as a secure way to save and use resources without losing eligibility for benefits or assistance programs. If you have a loved one with a disability in Connecticut, you can work with either account or even both, depending on the individual’s needs.

ABLE accounts

ABLE Accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts that a person can use for a variety of expenses related to the beneficiary’s disability, such as education, transportation and health care. Because ABLE accounts do not count as assets or income when determining eligibility for social security or Medicaid benefits, they can be an ideal way to save money without sacrificing access to critical assistance programs.


In contrast, Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) are trust arrangements that allow for the management of a disabled person’s assets and other resources. They provide a way for individuals with disabilities to have control over their finances while allowing them to remain eligible for government benefits and services. SNTs enable families to plan ahead and protect their loved ones with special needs in the long term. An SNT can be set up by an individual, a family member or even a court of law to provide for medical expenses and other essential needs.

When deciding which option is best suited to your situation, it’s important to consider the individual’s disability, financial status, eligibility for benefits, as well as any additional resources they may have or need. For example, an ABLE account may be appropriate in cases where the individual does not have significant assets but enough to prevent their loved ones from getting government benefits, whereas an SNT may provide greater flexibility and control for individuals with more substantial resources. Ultimately, both accounts offer important benefits to those with special needs in Connecticut, and you can use them together to ensure maximum protection.