Will The ABLE Act Help Oklahomans With Disabilities?

Most experts and attorneys agree that working while drawing Social Security Income is not a good idea. If a person with disabilities earns too much from a part-time job, their benefits could be terminated, which can be a major problem for individuals with developmental disabilities who only have their benefits to live off of. However, Oklahoma legislators want to make a few tweaks to the system to help these people.

Will The ABLE Act Help Oklahomans With Disabilities?Photo of gavel and flag

Limits on the amount of income a person with developmental problems can have puts a limit on their standard of living. These individuals can’t even inherit assets from their parents without their benefits being threatened, but the Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act can help change that.

What Does The ABLE Act Do?

The ABLE Act—which was passed by Congress several years ago—allows individuals with disabilities to set up tax free accounts similar to the College 529 savings program. This plan allows people to build tax free savings that they can use on specific expenses like housing, education, transportation, employment support, and associated healthcare costs.

Why Doesn’t Oklahoma Already Have ABLE Act Savings Accounts?

The ABLE Act is written in a way that allows each state to adapt the program to its own tax codes and programs. Previously, Oklahoma chose not to participate in the program, but now state representatives are warming up to the idea, and they think that the program could be a good way to pull many Oklahomans with disabilities out of poverty. “Right now, if you’re disabled, you can hardly own anything or else you lose those benefits,” State Rep. Jon Echols explains. “This would be a safety net for individuals with disabilities, those who truly can’t provide for themselves.”

The bill to make the ABLE Act available to Oklahomans will be scheduled for a vote in 2016, and could be a benefit to people who are just barely getting by on their benefits. Keep following our blog to keep up with any developments that could affect your Social Security benefits.

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