The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act)

What is the ABLE Act?

Individuals with disabilities face enormous and unimaginable financial struggles, yet do not enjoy the same financial planning tools as other Americans who are planning for college and retirement.

The ABLE Act (H.R. 647/S. 313) is federal legislation that 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.

No longer would individuals with disabilities have to stand by and watch others use Internal Revenue Service-sanctioned tools to lay the groundwork for a brighter future. The ABLE Act would provide new freedom for a brighter future and is earning wide support every day. The legislation, introduced in the 133th Congress by Congressman Crenshaw and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) on February 13, 2013 is backed by more than 50 national, state, and coalition organizations.

 

Current Support

Who is standing behind the bill?

Support for passage of the ABLE Act continues to grow thanks to the strong backing of so many local, state, and national advocacy organizations. Take a look at who these groups are and view the current list of House and Senate Members who have co-sponsored this ground-breaking bill. 

What People Are Saying

What is the current thinking about the legislation?

  • Congressman Crenshaw on the positive impact the ABLE Act:

"No longer would individuals with disabilities have to stand aside and watch others use IRS-sanctioned tools to lay the groundwork for a brighter future. They would be able to as well, and that's an accomplishment we can all be proud of."

  • Senator Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA) on how the bill will help Pennsylvanians and all Americans:

"Pennsylvanians with disabilities face incredible challenges every day. They shouldn't be penalized simply for trying to save for their future. Congress should use current programs to ensure America's most vulnerable have the same opportunities that are provided to all citizens."

  • Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc, on the improvements to the quality of life that would result from the ABLE Act:

"The ABLE Act is about giving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to achieve their dreams. Families are looking for ways to finance things like an apartment, or a ride to work, or additional educational opportunities after high school that don't jeopardize other necessary services provided by fedreal programs. This bill creates a tool for families that could lead to a more independent and fulfilling life."

  • Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, on how the legislation will provide economic peace of mind to those impacted by disabilities:

"This is important, common-sense legislation tha twill provide an incredible financial boost to families affected by autism and other disabilities who are struggling to pay for critical services. If we allow families to save tax-free for college, it is only fair that they be permitted to save to meet the needs of all their children." 

  • Jeffrey Leach on how the ABLE Act will help his young daughter Sydney, who was born with Down Syndrome:

“The ABLE Act will allow Sydney to earn a salary and put part of that money into an ABLE savings account. It will also allow her family to give her monetary gifts that may be used for future expenses. This account will have a tremendous effect on Sydney’s future and we are so appreciative of Representative Crenshaw and all of the members of Congress who have signed on as co-sponsors of this bill.”