The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act)

What is the ABLE Act?

Individuals with disabilities face enormous and unimaginable financial struggles, yet do not enjoy the same financial planning tools as other Americans who are planning for college and retirement.

The ABLE Act (H.R. 647/S. 313), introduced in the 113th Congress by Congressman Crenshaw and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), is federal legislation that aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The ground-breaking bill has earned more bipartisan, bicameral support than any other bill in Congress. (380 House co-sponsors, 74 Senate co-sponsors)

ABLE would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources.

With ABLE in place, individuals with disabilities would no longer have to stand by and watch others use Internal Revenue Service-sanctioned tools to lay the groundwork for a brighter future. The ABLE Act would open the door to a brighter future for millions of Americans.


National Organizations Push for ABLE Passage

Urge House, Senate Leadership to Bring ABLE to a Vote

On behalf of 19 national organizations, the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination (CPSD), has urged top House and Senate leadership to bring the ABLE Act to a vote in both chambers before the end of the 113th Congress.

Those organizations who have signed a November 20, 2014  CPSD letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Keving McCarthy, and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer are:

* Association of University Centers on Disabilities

* Autistic Self-Advocacy Network

* Autism Society

* Autism Speaks

* EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases

* Jewish Federations of North America

* Lutheran Services in America Disability Network

* Muscular Dystrophy Association

* National Association of State Directors On Developmental Disabilities Services

* National Down Syndrome Congress

* National Down Syndrome Society

* National Federation of the Blind

* National Fragile X Foundation

* Sibling Leadership Network

* National Organization of Nurses with Disabilites

* Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy

* Physician Parent Caregivers


What People Are Saying

What is the current thinking about the legislation?

  • Congressman Crenshaw on the positive impact the ABLE Act:

"No longer would individuals with disabilities have to stand aside and watch others use IRS-sanctioned tools to lay the groundwork for a brighter future. They would be able to as well, and that's an accomplishment we can all be proud of."

  • Senator Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA) on how the bill will help Pennsylvanians and all Americans:

"Pennsylvanians with disabilities face incredible challenges every day. They shouldn't be penalized simply for trying to save for their future. Congress should use current programs to ensure America's most vulnerable have the same opportunities that are provided to all citizens."

  • Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc, on the improvements to the quality of life that would result from the ABLE Act:

"The ABLE Act is about giving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to achieve their dreams. Families are looking for ways to finance things like an apartment, or a ride to work, or additional educational opportunities after high school that don't jeopardize other necessary services provided by fedreal programs. This bill creates a tool for families that could lead to a more independent and fulfilling life."

  • Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, on how the legislation will provide economic peace of mind to those impacted by disabilities:

"This is important, common-sense legislation tha twill provide an incredible financial boost to families affected by autism and other disabilities who are struggling to pay for critical services. If we allow families to save tax-free for college, it is only fair that they be permitted to save to meet the needs of all their children." 

  • Jeffrey Leach on how the ABLE Act will help his young daughter Sydney, who was born with Down Syndrome:

“The ABLE Act will allow Sydney to earn a salary and put part of that money into an ABLE savings account. It will also allow her family to give her monetary gifts that may be used for future expenses. This account will have a tremendous effect on Sydney’s future and we are so appreciative of Representative Crenshaw and all of the members of Congress who have signed on as co-sponsors of this bill.”