ABLE Accounts: How can we save my mom’s money from Medicaid?

A friend of mine, Shirley Whitenack, was recently quoted in an article discussing the ABLE Act and how it can be used to save money while becoming eligible for Medicaid. In Georgia, we call ABLE Act accounts “Stable” Accounts.

To be eligible for a Stable account, an individual must be someone who developed their disability before the age of 26. The individual must have been living with their disability for at least one year, or they must expect their disability to last for at least a year.

In addition, the individual must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be entitled to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because of their disability;
  • Be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because of their disability;
  • Have a condition listed on the Social Security Administration’s List of Compassionate Allowances Conditions; or
  • Be able to “self-certify” their disability and diagnosis (see details below) when opening a STABLE account.

“Self-certification” simply requires an individual to agree to the following statements during enrollment:

  • The individual has a written, signed diagnosis from a licensed physician (note: individuals do not have to provide us with a copy of the diagnosis during enrollment, but a copy of the diagnosis must be available upon request); and
  • The individual is either:
    • (1) blind, within the meaning of the Social Security Act, or
    • (2) has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that results in “marked and severe functional limitations”

Examples of qualifying conditions that result in “marked and severe functional limitations” can be found in the Social Security Administration’s disability Blue Book.  See Part A for adults and Part B for children.  A condition will also qualify if it is equal in severity to one of the conditions found in the Blue Book.

Both physical and mental disabilities (including certain mental illnesses) may qualify someone to open a STABLE Account. To see if you or someone you know is eligible, click here to take the Georgia Stable Eligibility Quiz.

Proving Eligibility

The Georgia Stable process is entirely online. You will be asked a series of questions when you open your account. If you are self-certifying your disability, you will need to provide your doctor’s name and address, and the date of your diagnosis. Although you will not need to produce a copy of your diagnosis in order to open an account, you must have a record of the diagnosis readily available.

For Georgia Residents

Georgia STABLE is only available to Georgia residents.  Residents of other states may open a STABLE Account by visiting

Who Can Open the Account

An Eligible Individual can open an account for him or herself. The Eligible Individual is known as the “Beneficiary” of the STABLE Account. A parent, legal guardian, or the holder of a power of attorney* can also open, set up, and manage a STABLE Account for their loved one. These individuals are known as “Authorized Legal Representatives.”

*Please note – if you are the holder of a power of attorney, the power of attorney must be specific enough to give you authority over the Beneficiary’s STABLE Account administration. You can find a STABLE Account power of attorney form here.


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