How is this different from a Special Needs Trust or Pooled Trust?

A STABLE account does not replace a Special Needs Trust or Pooled Trust. There are some key differences that are meant to give people living with disabilities and their families more options. 

With a STABLE account through Vermont ABLE:

  • There are fewer expenses than setting up a trust. 

  • The beneficiary owns the funds and can access them for qualified expenses.

  • Earnings are tax-free advantaged. 

  • There’s a yearly limit of $16,000 and a lifetime maximum of $517,000. 

  • Funds can be used for food and housing without affecting benefits. 

With a Special Needs Trust or Pooled Trust:

  • You have to set up a trust. 

  • The beneficiary has to get approval of the trustee to receive disbursement. 

  • The earnings are taxed at trust rates. 

  • There are no limits on contributions or balances. 

  • Amounts in a Third-Party Special Needs Trust are generally not subject to a Medicaid recovery upon the death of the individual with disabilities.

  • Funds can be used for housing, but benefits will be affected.