Despite the reported gridlock in Congress before the fall break, it appears that lawmakers have an agreement on legislation that would allow people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefits. According to a story produced by disabilityscoop.com, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (or ABLE) Act will proceed to a vote once Congress reconvenes in November.
Under the ABLE Act, people with disabilities will be able to create special accounts at any financial institution, much like 529 savings accounts for minors. The new law will allow deposits of up to $14,000 each year, with an eligible account being able to accrue up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for government benefits, such as Social Security disability benefits. Also like 529 accounts, the money could be used to pay for health care, transportation and housing expenses. Moreover, the interest earned on savings accounts would be tax free.
Another benefit, account holders could retain Medicaid coverage no matter how much is deposited into an ABLE account.
A number of our posts have focused on how people with disabilities are often unemployed, lack savings and face a difficult road towards living outside of poverty. Because of this, it is imperative to have programs dedicated to helping disabled people become productive and independent.
The ABLE Act has been under consideration since 2006, but now has bipartisan support in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. If you have questions about how the new law will be implemented, an experienced disability attorney can help.