Individuals with disabilities face significant barriers to finding and holding employment and living independently because their access to critical safety-net programs can be lost once they establish a minimum level of savings creating a disincentive to work.
The ABLE Act would help more individuals with disabilities work, save, and live independently without losing access to means-tested benefits. Join us for ABLE Act Lobby Day on Wednesday, February 24!
ABLE legislation has passed federally and in 32 states. Georgia must now pass legislation to establish an ABLE program within the state.
DSAA has joined The Georgia ABLE Coalition, a growing collaboration of disability organizations, including advocacy networks, service providers, and universities to help pass the ABLE Act in Georgia.
About ABLE Accounts:
Income earned by the accounts and withdrawals for qualified disability expenses would not be taxable. Individuals may only have one ABLE account, and total annual contributions may not exceed $14,000. Aggregate contributions to an ABLE account would be subject to the State 529 account limit of $235,000. Withdrawals for non-qualified expenses would be subject to tax and a 10% penalty.
Who is eligible for an ABLE account?
Individuals with significant disabilities with onset before age 26, meet the conditions of disability as defined by SS, SSDI, or are certified under pending IRS rules.
A Brief History:
The ABLE Act of 2013 was introduced in the 113th Congress by Senators Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Representatives Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX) – along with many other congressional supporters. On December 19, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the bill making the ABLE Act the law of the land.
The passage of the ABLE Act brings many advantages to individuals with disabilities and their families. Before the act, asset building was not possible due to the risk of losing benefits received through Medicaid and Social Security.
The new law aims to provide individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings, healthcare savings and individual retirement accounts. The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid payback provision when the beneficiary passes away. The legislation will amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill intends to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing and transportation.
The ABLE Act would also supplement benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment and other sources. It builds on the foundation set forth by the ADA. While the ADA prohibits discriminating against individuals with disabilities, the ABLE Act seeks to level the financial playing field by allowing families affected by disabilities to utilize the progress made by the ADA by saving for the future.
For more information visit GCDD.