Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2388, ABLE legislation. The Arizona ABLE legislation follows enactment by the federal government of the Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014, which authorizes states to create ABLE programs.
Modeled after college savings accounts, ABLE accounts will enable people with autism and their families to save for housing, education, transportation, medical, and other expenses. Assets in ABLE accounts will generally be disregarded by means-tested federal programs like Medicaid.
“Too often, parents of children with disabilities face unique challenges and tremendous anxieties when it comes to the health and well-being of their kids. Ensuring their long-term financial security should not be one of them. This legislation will allow Arizona families who have a loved one with a physical or mental disability to save for their child’s future through an account, similar to a college savings plan,” said Governor Ducey.
Governor Ducey added, “Funds in these accounts can later be used to cover a variety of needs – including housing, transportation, specialized education and healthcare – without jeopardizing their access to Social Security and Medicaid. This will give parents a little more peace of mind while providing economic protection and greater opportunity to our most vulnerable citizens. I thank Rep. John Allen for his hard work on this bill and his compassion for thousands of kids and families across Arizona.”
The Arizona legislation comes recently after Congress introduced legislation to expand the ABLE program for individuals with autism and other disabilities. The package includes the ABLE to Work Act, the ABLE Financial Planning Act, and the ABLE Age Adjustment Act. Advocates applauded the proposed enhancements, which would increase contribution limits, allow rollovers to and from college savings accounts, and expand eligibility.