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North Dakota Joins Growing List of States to Enact ABLE Program

April 09, 2015

BISMARCK North Dakota’s Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, HB 1373, has been signed by Governor Jack Dalrymple. The newly enacted ABLE program, modeled after 529 college savings plans, allows families to invest in tax-free savings accounts for disability related expenses.

North Dakota joins Arkansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia in a growing list of states which have enacted similar programs this year.

HB 1373, was sponsored by Reps. Mark Dosch (R-Bismarck) and Rep. Wayne Trottier (R-Northwood) in the House and Sen. Kyle Davison (R-Fargo) in the Senate.

“We are grateful North Dakota families will now have the well-deserved opportunity to plan for their children’s financial future,” said Stuart Spielman, Senior Policy Adviser and Counsel at Autism Speaks. “We grateful for the broad level of support ABLE received from the legislature and from Governor Dalrymple.”

Under previous law, people with disabilities who saved more than $2,000 would not qualify or would risk the loss of their Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and other benefits.  Enacted late last year, the federal ABLE Act amended federal law to disregard ABLE account funds for means-tested federal programs such as SSI and Medicaid, which cap (usually at $2,000) the amount an individual with a disability may save.

North Dakota joins Arkansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia in the growing list of states which have enacted similar programs. ABLE legislation is currently awaiting signature in Kansas and legislation is pending in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Washington.