The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed by President Obama before the holidays, paving the way for people with disabilities to open tax-free savings accounts, modeled after the 529 college savings plans. The new law allows individuals and their families to set up accounts where they can ultimately save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Social Security and other government benefits. To be eligible, individuals must have had a diagnosis before the age of 26. Funds in the account may be used for education, health care, transportation, housing and other disability-related expenses.
This is widely considered landmark legislation for individuals with disabilities. It is recommended that caregivers consult with an attorney who specializes in special needs planning before initiating an ABLE account since regulations will have to be written by the State of RI, and ABLE programs (vehicles through which funds can be transmitted) will have to be established first.
We are very grateful to our elected officials who co-sponsored the House and Senate versions of this bill: Congressmen David Cicilline and James Langevin and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed!