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An Explanation of the Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act

Monday (March 21) was a long awaited landmark day for thousands of Indiana residents who are challenged by disabilities.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a bill making the “Achieving a Better Life Experience” (known as the ABLE Act) a law in our state. The ABLE act allows Hoosiers to provide for family members and others with special needs by enacting a new savings plan that permits them to save money for costs related to their disability.

Photo Courtesy WISH TV

A report this week from WISH TV quotes Kim Dodson of the Arc of Indiana. “Right now this bill just kind of puts forth the establishment of a board that will put together the policies and procedures for Indiana’s ABLE Act so next year things will be a lot more structured,” said Dodson. “This allows us to put together a board that is really a dedicated group of professionals.”

The report also notes that “In time, advocates say the law will mean a better quality of life and the ability to plan for the future for those living with disabilities.”

Note that until policies and procedures are adopted in Indiana, Congress has permitted individuals to open accounts in other states per legislation passed in December 2015. Also, the disabled individual himself/herself can contribute to the account.

We have written here several times in support of the prospect of the ABLE Act coming to Indiana since legislation passed in the U.S. Congress in late December 2014.

The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities to establish tax free savings accounts without affecting their eligibility for government benefits. The purpose of an ABLE account is to use such funds to supplement an individual’s public benefits for “qualified disability expenses,” such as medical and dental care, education, employment training, housing, and transportation.

Implementation of the law progressed slowly. Despite the IRS publishing proposed regulations to add needed detail to the law in June of last year, many questions remained and IRS delegated most details to the individual states.

We are pleased that the Governor has acted positively on this bill which provides these many new provisions to further help the disabled in Indiana who are already facing some difficult challenges in their lives.

 

Our goal at the Stinson Law Firm is to secure your present and future and leave you with the peace of mind you deserve. Contact us today.

 

Jeff is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, a distinction held by only a handful of lawyers in Indiana. For almost 20 years, he has focused on elder law, estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, Veterans Affairs benefits planning, special needs planning, guardianships, and estate administration.

Jeffery D. Stinson, Certified Elder Law Attorney
Jeff is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, a distinction held by only a handful of lawyers in Indiana. For almost 20 years, he has focused on elder law, estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, Veterans Affairs benefits planning, special needs planning, guardianships, and estate administration.