Has Congress Passed the ABLE Act?

Updating a blog post we brought you last week, Congress has passed the ABLE Act, which allows for people with disabilities to save money and open tax-free savings accounts—the bill now awaits President Barack Obama’s approval. Photo of piggy bank

According to the Associated Press, the bill is the most “sweeping legislation to help the disabled in a quarter century.” The ABLE Act, or Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, would allow an estimated 54 million Americans with disabilities to setup savings accounts similar to 529 college accounts.

“This is a monumental, landmark bill,” said Sara Hart Weir, the interim president of the National Down Syndrome Society, according to the AP. The bill has received bipartisan support. The Senate passed the measure by a 76-16 vote, last week. The House passed ABLE by an overwhelming majority, 404-17.

Under the outdated laws that currently exist, to qualify for Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, people cannot have more than $2,000 in assets and cannot earn more than about $680 per month, which hurt people attempting to save money.

ABLE allows people to establish savings accounts for daily and long-term expenses and contribute up to $14,000 annually, with tax-free interest. This will occur without a penalty for most people— accounts could accrue up to $100,000 without affecting someone’s ability to obtain SSDI benefits.

To qualify, a person would have to be diagnosed by the age 26 with a disability that results in “marked and severe functional limitations” or receive SSDI benefits, according to the AP.

I Need Help Applying for SSDI Benefits

This is great news for disabled people and their family members. Political experts expect Obama to sign the bill at any moment.

If you have an interest in qualifying for SSDI benefits, you should speak to our attorneys. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay us unless there is a successful outcome in your case.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

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