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Understanding the potential benefits of the ABLE Act

In February of 2013, the newest version of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was introduced in Congress. Though little movement has been made in progressing the bill towards passage since that time, support for the ABLE Act is building slowly but surely.

In essence, the ABLE Act would allow either disable individuals or the families of disabled loved ones to open a long-term care expense savings account that would be sheltered from many tax-related obligations. Many Social Security Disability (SSD) beneficiaries would qualify for these accounts under the current version of the bill.

A few weeks ago, several hundred individuals met on Capitol Hill to rally in support of the ABLE Act. These advocates insist that families of disabled individuals should be allowed to save for their long-term care in many of the same ways that parents are currently allowed to save for their children’s college educations free from major forms of taxation.

If passed, the ABLE Act would incentivize saving within families affected by disability. As the system currently stands, many forms of savings can render individuals ineligible for important disability-related benefits due to income thresholds. Allowing families to save in their disabled love one’s name via these ABLE accounts would open up the possibility that a disabled person could simultaneously receive reasonable benefits and have money stored away for future out-of-pocket costs.

Individuals in favor of the ABLE Act may wish to contact their federal representatives and voice their support for this important bill that could dramatically affect the lives of disabled individuals and their families for the better.

Source: The Washington Post, "How the proposed ABLE Act will help parents of children with disabilities," Mari-Jane Williams, March 6, 2014

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