Possible House Vote on ABLE Act Announced

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), in announcing the House schedule for the week of December 1st, included “possible consideration” of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 (H.R. 647) on the House floor this week. The ABLE Act would create tax-favored savings accounts for people with disabilities that would not count toward the $2,000 individual asset limits that apply to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid programs. As previously reported, the House Ways and Means Committee marked up the ABLE Act in July, 2014 and, to address cost concerns, significantly narrowed the scope of the bill from the legislation that was introduced in 2013. Among the changes are a cap on contributions at $14,000 a year; requiring that individuals open accounts in their home state or with a state which contracts with their home state; limiting individuals to only one ABLE account; and limiting the availability of ABLE accounts to people who acquire the disability before age 26. The Committee’s report provides more details on these changes; the revised bill was reported back to the House in November. Following the Ways and Means Committee July mark up, in August the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicated that a person earning over the SSI substantial gainful activity (SGA) level would not be eligible for an ABLE account. Since then, Senate and House leaders have worked to fix the language to ensure that such earners would be eligible. The final language of the bill for possible consideration on the House floor this week, including the SGA language and provisions to pay for the legislation, is not yet available.

%d bloggers like this: