What is the purpose of the ABLE act?
The goal of the ABLE act is to allow and encourage people with qualifying disabilities and their families to save private funds that can be used to provide an increase in the beneficiary’s quality of life; heath care and independence. This is a significant improvement than what we can do now because this savings account will not interfere with the beneficiary’s ability to receive Medicare and SSI.
The ABLE act is modeled after the 529 college savings plans and will be included as a new subsection of the529 section of the Internal revenue code. In light of this the ABLE act will take on some of the same qualities of a college savings 529. Some of the restrictions and provisions include: there is a $13,000 cap for tax free contributions each year; it will be easy to open and available in each state and roll overs to other 529 accounts are allowed. In addition; if the account reaches $100,000 the SSI benefits will be suspended until the account drops back below $100,000. Even in this case the individual will not lose Medicare and he or she will not need to reapply for SSI when the account balance allows them to receive it again. Also like a college savings plan the will be certain expenses which will be allowed and others that may not be. As always good record keeping will be a good idea.
What is The Down Syndrome Information and Awareness Act?
The bill requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to make available up-to-date and accurate information about Down syndrome. This information shall be provided by health care providers and genetic counselors to all expectant or new parents who receive diagnosis of Down syndrome and will be comprised of the following:
- Up-to-date and evidence based written information about Down syndrome reviewed by medical experts and the national Down syndrome organizations.
- Current contact information for local support groups serving Illinois.
What can I do?
- The most important thing to do if you have any questions is to seek out information.
- If you have any questions about the ABLE Act, please go to the NDSS website. They have all the information you will need and more to further educate yourself about the ABLE Act.
- Help to get Illinois senators and representative on board with implementing the ABLE Act and the Down Syndrome Information and Awareness Act in Illinois. Contact Senators Kirk and Durbin and your district Representative. Let them know that these laws are important to your family and why they are important. If you do not know your representative or contact information for your Senators, go to www.votesmart.org (information for all states) or www.ilga.gov (for Illinois only).
Of Ongoing Interest
- Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act (previously known as the Brownback Kennedy Bill)
- Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2012 (ABLE)
- Down syndrome Caucus