WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 19, 2013) – Today, support continued to grow for the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act – S. 313/H.R. 647), introduced by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), bringing the total number of co-sponsors in the Senate to 60 members. Introduced in the 113th Congress in February, this bill would provide an improved quality of life for individuals with disabilities through tax-free savings accounts.
“This is a significant step forward for the ABLE Act and for the families of children with disabilities,” Senator Casey said. “Now that this bill has 60 cosponsors, I’m urging the Senate to take action on it in the new year. The fact that only 6 bills in all of Congress have this many cosponsors is a sign of the overwhelming support for this effort to make a major difference in the lives of these families.”
“The ABLE Act is a commonsense piece of legislation that allows families of disabled children to have the same access to tax preferred savings accounts as the parents of college-bound kids,” Senator Burr said. “I am very excited that we now have 60 Senators on board and can hopefully expect swift movement on the Senate floor to send this bill to the President.”
The legislation would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code to 1986 to allow use of tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill, first introduced in 2006, would ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, medical, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources.
In November of this year, Autism Speaks organized "Autism Speaks to Washington," a national policy and action summit in Washington, D.C.