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ABLE Act Would Allow Families Who Have a Child with a Disability to Save for Their Long Term Care through 529-Style Accounts / Regulations Will Help Guide States in Implementing the ABLE Act

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released guidelines giving states guidance on the implementation of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The ABLE Act, which U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) worked to pass in 2014, established new tax-advantaged savings accounts to allow people with disabilities and their families to save for their futures and help cover important expenses like education, housing, and wellness. In June, Senator Casey, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Treasury to provide timely guidance to help states move forward with the launch of ABLE programs so that families would be able to realize the law’s benefits.

“This is an important step for families who have a loved one with a disability,” Senator Casey said. “These regulations give states clear guidance moving forward to launch ABLE programs. With these programs, more states can give their citizens with disabilities the ability to lay a foundation for a more secure future.”

Released by the IRS today, Notice 2015-81 advises how the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to respond to comments by revising three provisions of the proposed regulations under § 529A of the Internal Revenue Code: (1) the requirement to establish safeguards to categorize distributions from ABLE accounts, (2) the requirement to request the taxpayer identification number (TIN) of each contributor to an ABLE account, and (3) the requirement for disability certifications, and in particular the requirement to process disability certifications with signed physicians’ diagnoses.

These new guidelines will help states to pass legislation and create regulations to set up ABLE programs, giving people with disabilities and their families the opportunity to save for the future. Along with the Treasury’s regulations, states across the nation have quickly taken steps toward implementing the ABLE Act.