SALT LAKE- Thursday the Utah Senate passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program and Tax Credits bill, SB 0292, 50-18 to allow families the opportunity to set up tax-exempt savings accounts for disability-related expenses. The legislation already passed the House and is now headed to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.
The accounts, modeled after 529 college savings plans, require state level implementation after ABLE was enacted at the federal level last year. Utah’s ABLE legislation was sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler (R-Salt Lake) and becomes the second state to pass ABLE legislation this week alone.
“We are thrilled to see the hard work by Utah families pay off and thankful for the leadership of Sen. Weiler who championed ABLE in the state as the sponsor of SB 0292,” said Stuart Spielman, Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel at Autism Speaks. “We are also excited at the growing momentum to make ABLE accounts available to families so that they can better prepare for their children’s future.”
Utah joins West Virginia and Virginia with legislation heading to the governor’s desk. Louisiana and Massachusetts have already enacted legislation and 45 total states are now pursuing ABLE accounts for disability-related expenses.
Federal ABLE legislation, signed into law in December of 2014, amended the tax code to allow tax-free savings accounts to help finance disability-related needs and disregards the current $2,000 cap on savings for individuals with disabilities for ABLE qualified programs. 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.
(Read the 10 Things You Need To Know About The ABLE Act HERE)