Monday, July 29, 2013

Support the ABLE Act: Promote Inclusion and Independence

From the Huffington Post by William Daroff. He is the Vice President for Public Policy and Director of the Washington office of the Jewish Federations of North America.

The ABLE Act Promoting Inclusion and Independence

The financial strain on individuals with disabilities and their families today is not just a matter of dollars and cents; it's a matter of planning for tomorrow and the long-term future to ensure their independence and inclusion in their community.

Parents of children with disabilities want their kids to be able to access higher education, build a meaningful career, and save for the future so that they can live independently in their community of choice. Unfortunately, with essential government benefits at risk when an individual with a disability accumulates significant assets, long-term financial planning for services and supports that enable independent and community-based living is often not feasible.

To help remedy this situation so many families face, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (H.R. 647/S. 313) was introduced with bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and Senate earlier this year. This bill would provide a tax-advantaged savings account of up to $100,000 for disability-related expenses to supplement the benefits received from sources such as private insurance, Medicaid and the Supplemental Security Income program.

Qualified expenses that an ABLE account would fund include education, housing, transportation, employment support, health prevention and wellness, assistive technology and personal support. In short, it would allow families to plan for their child with disabilities to have access to funds to pay rent, hire a tutor or get job-related training in the future.

Read the rest HERE.