Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act

ABLE Act (September 29, 2014)
Leading bipartisan Senate negotiators on the ABLE Act (S. 313/H.R. 647) have announced that they have reached an agreement to move forward on the bill. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) released a statement on September 19 that they have “reached a policy agreement that will serve as the foundation for final passage.” Details of the agreement have not been made public, including if the agreement includes provisions to offset the estimated $2 billion cost of the bill. For more information, see below:

ABLE/Assets (September 22, 2014)
AUCD is disappointed to report that the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was not passed before Congress adjourned. This bipartisan bill would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code to allow savings over the current $2,000 asset limit imposed by Social Security and Medicaid in order to enable people with disabilities and their families to save for disability-related expenses. These savings accounts could be used for such expenses as education, housing, transportation, employment support, health, prevention and wellness costs, assistive technology, and personal support services. The House bill (H.R. 647) now has 380 bipartisan co-sponsors; the Senate bill (S. 313) has 74 bipartisan co-sponsors. Unfortunately, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the bill very high ($20 billion). House and Senate staff are trying to find a way to make changes to the bill that will satisfy both the disability community and reduce the cost to just $2 billion. In addition, Congress must find ways to pay for the cost of the bill. These issues have slowed the bill’s progress; however, all of the bill’s champions are committed to finding a compromise and passing the bill before the end of this Congress.