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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Please Pass the ABLE Act

A little over 2 years ago I posted about the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act that was being presented to Congress.

This bill was first introduced in the Senate and House back in 2009 and it's still languishing there; unsigned.

In short, the ABLE Act would amend a section of the IRS Code to allow people with disabilities to save for their future just like everyone else. It would allow them to have a tax-free savings account to help cover expenses like education, housing, and transportation.

Right now people with disabilities can not have more than $2000 (this makes me mad every time I think about it) in assets in their own name without being penalized and losing out on government programs. This paltry amount keeps people with disabilities either unemployed, or employed at/below minimum wage. It doesn't allow for a true career opportunity.

This bill would not take away benefits provided through programs like Medicaid or SSI, but instead would supplement those programs allowing people with disabilities to live a more full life and independent life.

The section of IRS Code is based on old and outdated laws. Times have changed. Opportunities for people with disabilities have changed and this law needs to grow and change and allow people with disabilities the same options of saving for their future that everyone else has.

Sara Wolff, an adult with Down syndrome, has started a petition to the House of Representatives urging them to pass this bill.

Please sign on and share the petition.

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Sabrina said...

I signed the petition, Michelle! This isn't fair and balanced at all. Like you said, times have changed in the world of people with disabilities. And maybe I'm naive, but those who are able to work should not have a cap put on what they can have in a savings account. $2,000 is peanuts, especially for someone who wants to live on their own - or even with a roommate or two - and has bills to pay just like you and I do. I know that rents around where I live start at $1,500.

krlr said...

Word. When we set up a special needs trust the folks there they told of one client who lost benefits because he picked up too many extra shifts. As a grocery bagger. I can't imagine that's anyone's idea of reasonable.