CHARLESTON- The West Virginia Senate passed ABLE legislation, HB 2902, 33-0 to allow families the opportunity to set up tax-exempt 529 savings accounts for disability-related expenses. The legislation passed the House last week and now heads to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for his signature.
HB 2902 was sponsored by Rep. Denise Campbell (D-Randolph) and made possible at the federal level by the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act enacted in December of last year. The tax exempt savings plans are managed on the state level and require state implementation.
“We are immensely grateful for the overwhelming support of the West Virginia legislature including Rep. Denise Campbell who sponsored the ABLE bill so that families will have the opportunity to plan for their children’s future,” said Stuart Spielman, Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel at Autism Speaks. “We are hopeful that Gov. Tomblin will promptly sign this important legislation for West Virginia families.”
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 the cap voids eligibility for Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
“We are thankful for the hard work by families across the entire disability community who contacted their legislators and the result was almost unanimous support for ABLE,” said Jill McLaury, Autism Speaks State Policy Chair for West Virginia. “We are hopeful that Governor Tomblin will sign ABLE to help people with autism prepare to lead more independent lives as adults.”