The Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was re-introduced to both the House and Senate in February.
First proposed in 2006, the ABLE Act would allow eligible persons to create tax-free savings accounts for disability-related expenses without jeopardizing their Social Security, Medicaid, private insurance, and other benefits. The bill has gained momentum in the last few years, and now enjoys bi-partisan support.
How well do you understand the ABLE Act? Are you taking action to support it?
Learn More About the ABLE Act
Some essential ABLE Act 2013 links:
- ABLE Act – Fact Sheet (downloadable file)
- ABLE Act FAQs
- What You Need To Know About the ABLE Act
- Full text of identical House and Senate bills – ABLE Act 2013
Same, but different
ABLE accounts would be a form of the current IRS 529 Plan (now used by families for tax-free college savings).
However, ABLE accounts would differ from current 529 Qualified Tuition Plans in two important ways:
Tax-free ABLE accounts could be used for a very wide variety of disability-related expenses at any time during the eligible beneficiary’s life. Types of allowable expenses include education, housing, transportation, employment support, health and wellness, personal assistance, life necessities, and “other approved expenses” (See ABLE Act FAQs link above for details).
Medicaid Payback Provision
The ABLE Act requires that, when the beneficiary of an ABLE account dies or is for some reason no longer disabled, remaining assets in the ABLE account must be used to repay Medicaid for services provided to the individual from the time the ABLE account was opened.
Comprehensive Financial Planning
Most advocates agree that the proposed ABLE Act offers a much-needed tax-free tool to supplement Special Needs Trusts as part of comprehensive life-long financial planning for persons with disabilities.
It is always important to work with a trusted, qualified special needs financial planner to understand how all available options relate to your unique circumstances.
It’s not easy to get legislation passed these days.
According to GovTrack.us, approximately 10,000 bills and resolutions are considered by Congress each term. Only about 400 (4%) become law.
Given these odds, how can the ABLE Act finally move out of committee and to the floor for a successful vote?
Advocacy organizations are rallying together.
What can YOU do to support this legislation?
Contact Your Legislators
At the Arc Action Center you’ll find:
- Your legislators’ contact information
- Sample wording for your call or email in support of the ABLE Act
Spread the Word
Share this post with others.
Let’s keep the momentum going! Every voice counts!
Every step forward in the disability rights movement has been made possible by the efforts of self advocates and families.
Those who came before us worked hard to pass Section 504, IDEA, and ADA. What would our lives be like today without them?
Will 2013 be the year of the ABLE Act?
If it’s to be – it’s up to me – and you – together.
Let’s make our voices heard!