As readers of Capitol Insider are aware, The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law on December 19, 2014 after many years of advocacy and bipartisan work in both the House and Senate. The Arc has released two fact sheets about the new law – a summary and a more in-depth look at the law – to educate the disability community about how this law will work. These are the first of several materials that will be produced by The Arc, so look for a fact sheet designed to be more family friendly and updates when federal regulations are released and accounts are set up in states.
The law allows eligible individuals with disabilities the ability to establish “ABLE accounts” for qualified beneficiaries that resemble the qualified tuition programs, often called “529 accounts”, that have been established under that section of the tax code since 1996. The new ABLE accounts will allow more individual choice and control over spending on qualified disability expenses and limited investment decisions, while protecting eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other important federal benefits for people with disabilities, with certain restrictions.