The ABLE Act has earned 35 cosponsors in the US Senate and 150 cosponsors in the US House and is being led by a bipartisan, bicameral set of Congressional champions, including: Senator Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX).
Under current law, people with disabilities receiving federal benefits cannot have more than $2,000 in assets and must have a very low monthly income. The ABLE Act will give individuals with disabilities and their families the ability to save just like every other American family. The ABLE Act will help people with disabilities live full, productive lives in their communities without losing benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. The ABLE Act will allow individuals with disabilities more options for employment rather than being constrained by the number of hours they can work, how much they can earn, and save. Individuals with disabilities can deposit their own paychecks into ABLE accounts.
The account could fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals, including:
o medical and dental care
o community based supports
o employment training
o assistive technology
The ABLE Act will utilize the 529 college education saving account program, in which thousands of Americans are already familiar. As with existing 529 accounts, contributions to ABLE accounts would grow tax free and would be easy and inexpensive to create. The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts.
The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program.