The New York State Assembly and Senate on Thursday passed A6516-2015, ABLE legislation that will allow families the opportunity to set up tax-free 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses. The measure now heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature.
The bill follows upon enactment by the federal government of the Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. 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 if related to their disability. Assets in ABLE accounts will be exempt from a $2,000 cap on conventional savings accounts; exceeding that cap voids eligibility for Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
“ABLE’s passage in New York would not have been possible without the support of our legislative champions and grassroots advocates across New York,” said Stuart Spielman, senior policy advisor and counsel at Autism Speaks. “We extend our thanks to Senator David Carlucci and Assemblymember Aileen Gunther, who led their houses to this victory. And we hope to see Governor Cuomo quickly sign the bill so that families in the disability community have a strong tool to plan for the financial futures of their loved ones.”
ABLE laws have been enacted in 20 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.