Senator, Bipartisan Members of Congress, Advocates Push for Passage Before Year’s End
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today, joined by members of Congress from both parties, pushed for passage of legislation that could help thousands of individuals with disabilities across Pennsylvania save for their long term care. Under his bill, the ABLE Act, parents of children with a disability could set up tax advantaged savings accounts to help provide for their long term care. Casey called on Congress to pass the bill by the end of the year.
“Parents of children with disabilities face struggles on a daily basis that we can’t even begin to imagine,” said Senator Casey. “This legislation will help make it easier for those families to save for their care and for their future. The ABLE Act would provide families with the financial peace of mind they need, and Congress should pass it before the end of the year.”
The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2011 (ABLE Act) will allow individuals with disabilities and their families to save money and cover expenses such as education, medical and dental care, community support services, employment training and support, moving and assistive technology, housing and transportation.
Under current law, many individuals with disabilities are forced to divest of all of their assets to qualify for assistance under certain federal programs. This requirement effectively impoverishes these individuals and prevents them and their families from building and using savings to meet expenses not covered by federal programs.
The ABLE Act would authorize a new type of 529 College Savings Account to be created by an individual for themselves or a beneficiary to save for future costs related to a disability. ABLE Accounts would be available to individuals eligible to receive supplemental security income benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act.
Anyone may contribute to an ABLE account under the proposal. The principle in the account would accrue interest tax-free during the life of the beneficiary. When distributions are made to the beneficiary for qualified expenses, the distributions are excludable from the gross income of the beneficiary.
Senator Casey today called on Congress to pass this bipartisan bill before the end of the year to aid children and families in Pennsylvania and across the country with Representatives Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). The ABLE Act is cosponsored in the Senate by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). Representative Crenshaw has introduced a companion piece of legislation in the House.