U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) on Feb. 23 introduced bipartisan legislation to build upon the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, a 2014 law that aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities through tax-free savings accounts made available to cover qualified disability expenses.
“There is more work to be done to build on the legacy of the ABLE Act, but I’m confident this is a great step that will empower more people to live with dignity and reach their potential,” Rep. McMorris Rodgers said.
The congresswoman is the lead original cosponsor of the ABLE Age Adjustment Act, H.R. 1219, which she introduced with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) to raise the age limit for eligibility to open an ABLE account from age 26 to 46.
The tax-free savings accounts may be used for job training, education and disability-related expenses. “When they find a job, it can even help them cover the cost of getting to work,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers.
Additionally, she said the bill would help continue to close the gap between Americans with disabilities looking for a job and those who actually find one.
“The primary goal of the ABLE Age Adjustment Act is to build on the incredible progress we’ve made to empower people with disabilities to live fuller and more independent lives,” Rep. McMorris Rodgers said. “This legislation will expand access to tax-free ABLE accounts for people who develop a disability later in life.”
H.R. 1219 is supported by the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress.
“The ABLE Age Adjustment Act will increase financial security and economic self-sufficiency for an additional 8 million people with disabilities by expanding the eligibility for ABLE accounts,” said Heather Sachs, policy and advocacy director for National Down Syndrome Congress.