Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, announced that the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2011 (ABLE Act) has achieved a majority of support in both the Senate and the House. Currently, 50 Senators and 307 Members of the House of Representatives have cosponsored the legislation, which would allow individuals with disabilities and their families to save money to cover key expenses. With the legislation gaining momentum, Casey called for a swift vote that could send the bill to the President’s desk.
“The ABLE Act is commonsense bipartisan legislation that will help make it easier for families to save for their children and we should pass it immediately. Individuals with disabilities and their families face challenges many of us can’t even begin to imagine. They deserve some assurance that they will be able to adequately plan for the future. ”
The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2011 (ABLE Act) would allow individuals with disabilities and their families to save money and cover expenses such as medical care, employment training and support, community support services, assistive technology, housing, education and transportation.
Under current law, many individuals with disabilities are forced to divest 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 Savings Account to be created by an individual for themselves or a beneficiary to save for future costs related to a disability.
Anyone may contribute to an ABLE account under the proposal. The principal in the account would accrue interest tax-free during the life of the beneficiary. When distributions are made to the beneficiary for qualified expenses, they are not included as income of the beneficiary.