Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act along with Senator Casey (D-PA), Congressman Crenshaw (R-FL), and Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). The ABLE Act would assist parents of disabled children, who often face difficulties preparing for the long-term expenses for their child, by expanding the use of 529 education savings accounts to help cover disability expenses. Currently, 529 accounts can be used to save for a child's college education tax-free.
"Families of individuals with disabilities often face overwhelming financial burdens associated with the expensive costs of healthcare, education, housing and transportation," Burr said. "Currently, families can save for their children's education through tax-favored 529 education savings accounts, but parents of disabled children do not have access to the same federal and state tax benefits to save for their child's upcoming long-term expenses. By allowing families to use 529 education accounts for disability-related expenses, this bill will make it easier for parents of disabled individuals to invest in their child's future, thereby opening the door to a world of opportunities."
By encouraging and assisting families and individuals to save money for their children's future, the ABLE Act will enhance the quality of life of individuals with disabilities and make it easier for them to maintain their health and independence as they age. These savings accounts will facilitate parents' access to quality health care that fits their child's individual needs. The ABLE Act will also enable parents to invest in special education programs that might otherwise be too costly. In addition, as children with disabilities grow, they will have finances saved to invest in housing as well as employment training, making it easier for them to be self-sufficient.
The ABLE Act is supported by the National Down Syndrome Society, Autism Speaks, The Arc, Collaborations to Promote Self Determination, the National Disability Institute and the National Fragile X Foundation.