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68 Senators Now Support Commonsense Proposal to Helps Families of Children with Disabilities / Momentum Continues to Build for Legislation that Has 345 Cosponsors in House / Having Leaders’ Support Greatly Increases Chances of Passage

Washington DC- Today U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) announced that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have cosponsored their bill, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act – S. 313/H.R. 647).  This legislation would provide an improved quality of life for individuals with disabilities through tax-advantaged savings accounts. The legislation now has the support of 68 Senators and 345 members of the House making it one of the most widely supported bills in all of Congress. Having leaders Reid and McConnell back this bill adds to the growing momentum to pass the legislation this year.

“I want to thank Senators Reid and McConnell for signing on to the ABLE Act. Having their support is critical to getting this legislation passed, and I’m hopeful that we’ll do just that in the coming months,” Senator Casey said. “The ABLE Act now has support from a strong majority in both parties because it is a commonsense approach that will help families of children with disabilities save and pay for their long term care. Passing the ABLE Act will help give these families peace of mind in knowing that they can better save for their loved ones.”

“The news today that both Senate leaders have agreed to cosponsor the ABLE Act is giving new hope to the severely disabled and their families across America,” said Senator Burr. “ABLE is a commonsense piece of legislation that helps parents of the severely disabled save and prepare for their child’s lifetime of expenses.  With such broad bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, it is my hope that 2014 is the year we finally pass the ABLE Act.”

The legislation would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code to allow use of tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill, first introduced in 2006, would ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, medical, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources.