Uncertain about a word or phrase?

Here’s a glossary of terms you might encounter when opening and managing an ABLEnow account.


ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for eligible individuals with disabilities.

The ABLE Age Adjustment Act expands ABLE eligibility to more Americans with disabilities. Starting January 1, 2026, individuals with a qualifying disability that started before age 46 can open an ABLEnow account.

Thanks to the ABLE to Work Act, working account owners who do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan may be eligible to contribute above the annual ABLE contribution limit.

ABLEAmerica is the nation’s only advisor-sold ABLE program. It offers the unique opportunity to work with a financial professional to build an ABLE savings plan. Learn more about ABLEAmerica.

ABLEnow is the national, direct-sold ABLE savings program offered by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Pay for qualified disability expenses with the ABLEnow Card, a debit card available to all account owners at no additional cost.

The ABLEnow Account Owner is the Eligible Individual with a disability (also called the Designated Beneficiary).

Login to the online ABLEnow account portal (sometimes called the consumer portal or online portal) to view your balance and transaction information, manage notifications and more.

An Authorized Representative may open and manage an ABLEnow account if the Account Owner is under the age of 18, is unable to open the account, or chooses to open an account but not exercise signature authority. Learn who can serve as an Authorized Representative in the FAQs.


A contribution is money added to an ABLEnow account.


ABLEnow contributions are automatically allocated to the FDIC-insured ABLEnow deposit account, which is linked to the ABLEnow Card.

The Designed Beneficiary (also called the Eligible Individual) is the person with a disability who is the ABLEnow Account Owner.

The Designated Survivor will receive the ABLEnow account assets in the event of the Account Owner’s death, following the payment of any outstanding Qualified Disability Expenses, Medicaid claims and estate taxes of the deceased.

With direct deposit, a paycheck, Social Security income or other recurring electronic payment is automatically deposited into an ABLEnow account.

A distribution (sometimes called a withdrawal) is money taken out of an ABLEnow account. Non-qualified withdrawals are subject to federal and state taxes and may be subject to a 10 percent tax penalty.


An Eligible Individual’s spouse, parent, sibling, or grandparent can open and manage an ABLEnow account as their Authorized Representative. For these Eligible Family Members, no documentation of the relationship is required.

The Eligible Individual (sometimes called the Designed Beneficiary) is the person with a disability who is the ABLEnow Account Owner.


Two types of fees may be charged to your account. Asset-based fees are collected by an investment manager for managing a fund. Service-based fees cover the administrative costs to run the ABLEnow program.

The Financial Resource Hub is a collection of helpful tools and resources for ABLEnow customers in the account portal.


ABLEnow offers group enrollment options for providers wishing to open and manage three (3) or more ABLEnow accounts on behalf of eligible clients. Visit for more information.


An investment portfolio is a collection of assets. Investing can build wealth over time, but it also involves risk.


Medicaid is a federal mean-tested program that provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including eligible people with disabilities. Medicaid is administered by states, according to federal requirements. Eligibility criteria varies from state to state. Learn more from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

When an ABLEnow Account Owner passes away, and after all outstanding Qualified Disability Expenses are paid, a state may file a Medicaid recovery claim against an ABLE account. This provision is sometimes called “Medicaid payback” or “Medicaid clawback.”

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rollover rules use the term Member of the Family, which is defined in IRC Section 529A as the Account Owner’s sibling, whether by blood or adoption, including his or her brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, and half-sister.

The minimum cash balance refers to the minimum cash required to be in the ABLEnow deposit account before customers have the option to invest additional contributions into one or more investment portfolios.

Money Market Funds offer high liquidity with a very low level of risk. The Money Market Fund may be called the “Money Market Portfolio.”

A mutual fund is a specific investment portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities, overseen by a professional money manager.


PNC Bank, NA supports ABLEnow as account custodian. PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States.

The program description is an important document that provides detailed information and rules on the ABLEnow program.


Money in an ABLE account may be used to pay Qualified Disability Expenses that maintain or improve the health, independence and quality of life of the Account Owner.


Millions of Americans who receive monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits need help managing their money. In these situations, a relative, friend, or other interested party can serve as the Representative Payee. The Representative Payee receives the individual’s SSI payments and has authority to use the funds on their behalf.

A rollover is a tax-free transfer of funds from one ABLE program to another without incurring any tax or penalty. There is also a process to rollover funds from a 529 college savings account to an ABLE account. Review instructions in the FAQs.


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays a monthly benefit to disabled adults who are unable to return to work, as well as certain family members of the “insured.” The benefit amount depends on how long the individual worked and their earnings over that time. Learn more from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal means-tested program that provides monthly payments to people with disabilities and other eligible individuals. Learn more from the Social Security Administration (SSA).


A target-risk portfolio is a specific type of mutual fund that holds a diversified mix of stocks, bonds, and other investments to meet a certain risk tolerance. Target-risk portfolios are professionally managed to maintain their risk level over time.

A transfer (sometimes called an electronic funds transfer) is a movement of money between two accounts. ABLEnow customers can link a bank account to easily transfer money to and from their ABLEnow account.


ABLEnow is administered by Virginia529, an independent Virginia state agency that manages the nation’s largest college savings plan.


A withdrawal (sometimes called a distribution) is money taken out of an ABLEnow account. Non-qualified withdrawals are subject to federal and state taxes and may be subject toa 10 percent tax penalty.


1099-QA is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax form that reports all the withdrawals from the ABLE account during the previous tax year.

529A account is another term for ABLE accounts. The federal ABLE Act amended Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to create tax-free savings accounts for eligible individuals with disabilities.

5498-QA is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax form that reports contributions, rollovers and direct program-to-program transfers to the ABLE account during the previous tax year.

*This glossary is for illustrative purposes and is not a full list of terms related to ABLEnow account usage. For the legal definition of these terms and to see other ABLEnow program rules, review the Program Description.

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