EnABLE in Pa.
With the recent introduction of state House Bill 583, Pennsylvania is positioning itself to be among the first states to implement the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The ABLE Act was introduced by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and signed into law by President Obama in December. This act allows people with disabilities to save for qualified disability expenses while protecting eligibility for Medicaid, Social Security Disability Income and other important federal benefits.
Typically, an individual with a disability who receives these government benefits cannot accumulate more than $2,000 in assets, which often poses a problem when the person needs to pay for large purchases, including assistive technology. However, the law allows eligible individuals to establish “ABLE accounts,” which can be used to pay for a range of services, including education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, prevention and wellness, and funeral and burial expenses.
On behalf of people with disabilities and their families, we thank state Reps. Dan Miller, Tom Murt and Jim Marshall for their quick response in introducing HB 583 and hope that other state lawmakers will support and pass HB 583 and send it to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.
The writer is director of communications for South Side-based nonprofit ACHIEVA (achieva.info).