If passed by Congress, the Achieving a Better Life Expierience Act will provide a savings account (ABLE account) similar to a retirement account, health savings account, or education savings account where the money in the account will not count against the $2,000 Medicaid asset limitation. The person will be able to save money for their future and continue to recieve their Medicaid support allowing for greater independence and quality of life.
The ABLE Act is one of the most important pieces of pending legislation for people with disabilities. Help us get this Bill passed by contacting your members of Congress to ask them to be a co-sponsor of the ABLE Act by following the instructions below.
from the NDSS:
Mark your calendar! NDSS is hosting a National Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) Act (S. 1872/H.R. 3423) Call-In Day this Wednesday to ask Members of Congress to cosponsor this significant, bipartisan legislation. The call-in information script and talking points are included in this action alert (click here or follow the instructions below).
NDSS will be joined by the following host organizations: Autism Speaks, D.A.D.S. National, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Down Syndrome Congress, National Disability Institute, National Fragile X Foundation, The Disability Opportunity Fund, and the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination.
The ABLE Act, when passed into law, will provide individuals with Down syndrome the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. The ABLE Act would utilize the 529 education saving accounts program with which thousands of Americans are already familiar. As with the existing 529 accounts, contributions to ABLE accounts would grow tax free and would be easy and inexpensive to create and support people with disabilities.
Thank you for taking a few minutes to make calls to your Members of Congress on Wednesday that haven't cosponsored the ABLE Act.
Sara Hart Weir
Vice President, Advocacy & Affiliate Relations, National Down Syndrome Society
Steps to Take Action -- Easy as 1 – 2- 3
If any of your Members have NOT signed onto the ABLE Act, please call their Washington, DC offices (click here to find out the phone number).
Begin the call by introducing yourself and asking to speak with your Member’s disability legislative staffer. (Note: You may need to leave a voice mail or call back, if the disability staffer does not answer)
2) Follow this ABLE Act phone script (below or click "take action" right handside of the email):
Once you have the staffer on the line, open and introduce yourself with:
- “Hello, I am calling to ask my [Senator/Representative] to be a cosponsor of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.”
- I am a constituent from your [State/District] and am a self-advocate, parent, sibling, grandparent, etc. from the [insert disability] community.
- The ABLE Act (S. 1872/HR 3423) currently has over 134 cosponsors in the House and 14 in the Senate. This bipartisan bill was introduced by:
- Senators Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) as S. 1872
- Representatives Crenshaw (R-FL), McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Van Hollen (D-MD) as H.R. 3423
- The bill has been endorsed by over 50 national, state, and local disability organizations.
- This bill would utilize the 529 education saving accounts program with which thousands of Americans are already familiar. As with the existing 529 accounts, contributions to ABLE accounts would grow tax free and would be easy and inexpensive to create.
- The ABLE Act will give individuals with disabilities and their families the ability to plan and save for their child's future just like every other American family, and help people with disabilities live full, productive lives in their communities without losing benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources.
- The account could fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals, including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation.
- The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts.
- Senate: Sen. Casey/Jennifer McCloskey (Jennifer_Mccloskey@casey.senate.gov)
- House: Rep. Crenshaw/Jennifer Debes (Jennifer.Debes@mail.house.gov)
For more information about the ABLE Act, please use the following resources: