On Wednesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which will permit people with disabilities to set aside personal funds in tax-advantaged savings accounts under certain circumstances. The bill passed by a vote of 404 to 17. The bill, which currently has 74 Senate co-sponsors, moves next to the Senate for consideration.
The ABLE Act will create an additional subsection to the Internal Revenue Code Section 529, which currently permits the creation of similar accounts to be used for educational purposes. The new subsection will allow individuals who acquired their disability prior to age 26 and meet other criteria to save money to be used for qualified expenses, including medical costs, services and supports related to their disability, and certain assitive equipment. ANCOR has supported the bill since its inception, though had concerns about the spending cuts that would be used to offset the anticipated cost of approximately $2 billion. The House-passed bill does not include offsets that take away from other disability programs, but cuts to the Medicare program may slow the bill's passage.