There are currently bicameral bills (S. 2702/HR 4795) in consideration by both houses of Congress known as the Able to Work Act that would make real improvements to the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE)
With an ABLE account, contributions were limited to $14,000 per year which could still spell trouble for any disabled working individual trying to maintain their eligibility for means based programs. Enter the bicameral legislature being considered known as the ABLE to Work Act that would allow the disabled individual to also contribute up to the federal poverty level – currently, $11,770, that's above and beyond their ability to contribution the existing cap. This would nearly double ($14,000 + $11,770) their savings amount. Keep in mind that an ABLE account balance cannot exceed $100,000.
Add to this legislation, the ABLE Financial Planning Act which would, if passed, allow families to roll funds from a traditional 529 saving plan into an ABLE account. What is not clear to me is if the account had to first be established in the disabled child’s name or if it could be unused funds from another child’s 529 plan.
The reason I believe these two pieces of legislation –especially the ABLE to Work Act is so important is that those of us who have been advocating for the disabled have long wanted laws to reflect the disabled person’s desire to have meaningful employment without jeopardizes their eligibility for programs most average salaries could not possibly replaced.
Add to these two pieces of legislation the fact that the Special Needs Trust Fairness and Medicaid Improvement Act was signed by the President (see my blog about the details of this Act entitled “ABLE Accounts Offer a Savings Strategy for Kids with Special Needs” dated February 16, 2015) and it is shaping up to be a great year for those with special needs and their loved one.
We help the disabled and their families with special needs planning strategies all the time. Why not call to request your complimentary consultation at 757.259.0707 or request a consultation by clicking this link.
Reference: Disability Scoop (September 27, 2016) “Congress Eyes Changes To ABLE Act, Special Needs Trusts”