Reed Cosponsors Able Act to Give Disabled Individuals Tools to Save
Tom Reed and the House Ways and Means Committee passed the ABLE Act Thursday, a bill that helps individuals with disabilities and their families get savings accounts and plan for their financial futures. Reed is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE ) Act, a bill that would give individuals with disabilities the opportunity to set up tax-exempt savings accounts so they are better able to save for disability expenses.
“We can care for the lives of disabled individuals by giving them opportunities to plan and save financially for their future,” Reed said. “We can make their lives and the lives of their families a little bit easier with this bill, and we should. Everyone deserves a fair chance to make their financial future more stable, more secure. I’m proud to be a part of moving this bill forward to improve the quality of life for disabled individuals and their families.”
The ABLE Act corrects an unfairness in the law that prevents disabled individuals from accumulating assets, making them more dependent on government help. Specifically, disabled individuals and their families would be able to open a separate, tax-exempt savings account to help with handling their disability expenses. The accounts can be used to pay for things like education, housing, medical, transportation, or employment support.
According to a recent report by the National Disability Institute (NDI), 81 percent of people with disabilities did not have an emergency fund to cover three months of expenses. Similarly, 70 percent of those with disabilities were not able to come up with $2,000 in case of an emergency. The ABLE Act realizes the additional financial challenges of disabled individuals and gives them the chance to enjoy the same financial planning tools other Americans enjoy.
“Individuals with disabilities and their families face additional financial challenges – financial strains we can ease by empowering them with this savings tool,” Reed continued. “We can give disabled individuals resources that will help them lead more independent lives.”
The ABLE Act is supported by the National Down Syndrome Society, Autism Speaks, the Arc of the United States, National Federation of the Blind, the National Disability Institute, the National Fragile X Foundation, the Disability Opportunity Fund and more.