Lawmakers Push New Savings Account for People With Disabilities

Members of Congress are on the verge of creating a new, tax-free savings account for people with disabilities in what would be a rare burst of bipartisanship in an election year.

The vast majority of Democrats and Republicans in both chambers are behind the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act, which would create the new accounts.Supporters on and off Capitol Hill say the new savings option is needed because people with Down syndrome, autism and a host of other disabilities now face a disincentive to work or go to school.That’s because they face four-decade old limits on how much they can save ($2,000 in all) and earn ($700 per month) without losing eligibility for benefits under Medicaid and Social Security.

Under a new, slimmed-down version of the ABLE Act, people with disabilities would be able to stash away an extra $14,000 a year in a savings account similar to what parents can use to save for their children’s college education.