U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today announced that she is co-sponsoring the bipartisan Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2011, or ABLE Act, to assist individuals and families with saving for the cost of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain their health, independence, and quality of life.
"Individuals with disabilities and their families face tremendous struggles on a daily basis," Hagan said. "The ABLE Act would provide families with peace of mind by helping them save money for the care and future of their loved ones. I'm proud to support this bipartisan legislation that will improve the lives of North Carolinians."
A group of 22 Senators, both Democrats and Republicans including Hagan, have co-sponsored this legislation first introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA).
ABOUT THE ABLE ACT
The ABLE Act would establish a tax-exempt vehicle called ABLE accounts to assist an individual with a disability in paying for certain expenses related to his or her disability. Qualified expenses include payments for:
· Education (pre-school through post-secondary);
· A primary residence (rent, mortgage payments, utilities);
· Transportation (buying a car, public transportation, moving expenses);
· Obtaining and maintaining employment (job-training);
· Health and wellness (health insurance, assistive technologies, medical devices, and personal assistance); and
· Other personal support expenses approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Only individuals with serious disabilities who are lacking financial resources would be eligible to open an ABLE account. The bill also includes measures to ensure the integrity of the program.