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Congress Seeks to Help Disabled Save for the Future

DisabilityScoop reported that Congress is working on legislation that would help people with disabilities put away money and still keep their benefits.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance approved updates to the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The current ABLE Act, which became law two years ago, allows those with disabilities to establish special accounts in which they can put away up to $100,000 tax-free, without losing their Social Security and government benefits. Currently, ABLE participants can deposit up to $14,000 a year without facing any tax liabilities; the proposed Senate legislation is looking to raise the cap.


The Senate Finance Committee also approved a separate measure called the ABLE Financial Planning Act, which would allow families who established a 529 college savings account for a disabled individual to roll those funds over to an ABLE account. Four states have ABLE accounts already established; Ohio, Nebraska, and Tennessee have made their ABLE accounts available nationwide, while Florida only offers their accounts to state residents.

Another proposed change to the ABLE Act would be to raise the disability age limit to 46 in order to open up an ABLE account. Currently, the person must have had a disability by the age of 26 in order to be eligible for an account.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has approved the Special Needs Trust Fairness and Medicaid Improvement Act which would allow the disabled to establish their own special needs trust. The current law states that a family member is charged with making sure the money is going into the trust. The bill is heading to the Senate for approval.

The Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones & Sweeney are experienced in helping those with a developmentally disabled family member in guardianship matters involving Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) and Title 30 guardianships, as well as trusts. For more information, call the firm at (973) 256-0456.

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