The House Passes the ABLE Act

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

All of us here at M&L are very excited today, and for good reason! On Wednesday, December 3rd, the House passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, a piece of legislation that will allow individuals with disabilities to create tax-free savings accounts. The Act, which had incredible amount of support in the house, was passed by a vote of 404-17.

This historic event comes from years of hard work on the part of the disability community, self-advocates with disabilities, and families with special needs. It is the first major piece of legislation that affects individuals with disabilities to be passed since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, and the ramifications it will have on the disability community are staggeringly positive. Finally, individuals with disabilities will be able to assume a measure of financial independence, and can begin to save for their futures.

Please join us as we celebrate this historic moment by writing about this legislation and how it can benefit individuals with special needs. As well, read on to learn about a seminar we will be hosting in January that will focus on Supplemental Security Income & Medicaid, Social Security Disability Insurance & Medicare, and how to effectively use the ABLE act to save for the future.

The ABLE act: What is it, and why is it important?

The ABLE act is a piece of legislation that will allow individuals with disabilities to open tax free savings accounts. The Act ensures that all interest accrued on the funds in the account will remain tax free, as long as they are used for qualifying expenses, i.e. education, housing, transportation, and healthcare expenses. The most important aspect of the ABLE Act: the funds in the ABLE account will not be counted against people with disabilities in eligibility determinations for Medicaid or Social Security Disability Insurance. As the current resource limit for these government benefits is $2000, the ABLE act opens many opportunities for individuals to effectively save for their futures without jeopardizing future income – an incredible development that will lead to greater financial independence and freedom for all Americans with disabilities.

For more information on the ABLE act, please click here and here to read blogs that we have published on the topic. If you have any questions about this legislation, or how it can affect your family with special needs, contact us!

Interested in learning more about government benefits? Attend our seminar!

As mentioned, M&L is hosting a workshop in January that will provide information on Medicaid, Medicare, and the ABLE account. The workshop, titled “Understanding SSI/Medicaid & SSDI/Medicare” was created to help individuals with disabilities and their families understand and navigate the sometimes tricky world of government benefits. The benefits are outlined in clear, concise language, and we spend time discussing exactly what these benefits are, their importance, when to apply, how to apply, how to qualify, and how much money the individual with a disability may possibly receive.

We will also cover when one transitions from SSI to SSDI, and how to keep Medicaid and/or Medicare without these government benefits. A discussion of work incentives and how they assist beneficiaries with their employment efforts will be included and – in light of yesterday’s events – we will discuss how to effectively use the ABLE act to accumulate savings for future expenses.

M&L helps families successfully apply for these benefits on a regular basis – in fact, we have a 100% success rate for 2013/2014! We have also had success with overturning appeals. Please join us as we discuss how we achieved this success rate, and share with you our inside tips. If you are interested in learning more, or would like to register please click here. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have – we love hearing from you!

Would you like more information?  

Thank you all so much for taking the time to visit our blog this week! We love being able to share with you important and exciting news from the disability community, such as the passing of the ABLE act, and we hope that you count on us as a reliable & current source of information.  As always, contact us with any questions you may have regarding the ABLE Act, special needs financial planning, or special needs life planning in general. You may also wish to browse our website and check out our Resources section. As well, our Workshops and Services sections detail exactly how we help individuals with disabilities achieve independence.

Have a great day everyone – until next week!

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