The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
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Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act

ABLE Act Overview

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The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2013 (S. 313/H.R.647) was introduced in the 113th Congress by a bipartisan, bicameral set of Congressional Champions including Sens. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX). 

The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources.

An ABLE account could fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals, including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program.

ABLE Act Status

The ABLE Act was introduced in the US Senate and US House of Representatives on Feb. 13, 2013. You can find out if your two senators and representative are cosponsoring the ABLE Act of 2013 by clicking the links below:

Senate ABLE Act Cosponsors
House ABLE Act Cosponsors

You can find out if your two senators and representative cosponsored the ABLE Act of 2011 by clicking the links below:

Senate ABLE Act Cosponsors
House ABLE Act Cosponsors

Take Action

Sign the Change.org petition to pass the ABLE Act, written by NDSS Board Member and Self-Advocate Sara Wolff.

NDSS offers you more ways of contacting your Representative and Senators.


NDSS Resources

External Resources

 

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • My Great Story
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors