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Casey, Schmitt Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities

Casey created the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program in 2014 to allow people with disabilities to save money without losing eligibility for critical federal programs

Three ABLE provisions that make the program more accessible and expansive are set to expire in 2025

The bipartisan ENABLE Act would enshrine those provisions in law permanently

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Senator Eric Schmitt (R-MO) introduced the Ensuring Nationwide Access to a Better Life Experience (ENABLE) Act, to extend three key provisions of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program. ABLE, created by Senator Casey in 2014, allows people with disabilities and their families to save and invest through tax-free savings accounts without losing eligibility for federal programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Three provisions that make the program accessible to more people with disabilities and make it easier for those in the program to save are set to expire in 2025. The bipartisan ENABLE Act would enshrine these provisions into law permanently.

“For years, people with disabilities were barred from saving for the future, meaning they couldn’t save for a home, purchase needed assistive technology, or save for an accessible car. I worked to create the ABLE program to knock down those barriers, and ever since I’ve been working across the aisle to make sure the program is as effective as it can be,” said Chairman Casey. “I’m grateful to have worked with Senator Schmitt on this new bipartisan bill, which will prevent some key ABLE provisions from expiring and ensure that as many people with disabilities as possible across the country can continue to benefit from opening ABLE accounts.”

"My son, Stephen, was my inspiration to run for office in the first place, and since that first day, I have been a staunch advocate for standing up and making life better for those with disabilities,” said Senator Schmitt. “The ENABLE Act is a fantastic bipartisan opportunity to protect access to federal programs for those with disabilities while safeguarding their ability to invest and save. I’m grateful for the support of Senators Casey, Boozman, Welch, Kaine, Van Hollen, Tuberville, and Klobuchar, and look forward to pushing this bill across the finish line.”

People with disabilities are more than twice as likely to live in poverty compared to people without disabilities, yet households including a person with a work-limiting disability need, on average, 28 percent more income to obtain the same standard of living as people without disabilities. For a long time, this intersection of disability and poverty was made worse by asset limitations for federal assistance programs that many people with disabilities rely on. Senator Casey created the ABLE program to provide a work around for this problem for more than 162,000 people with disabilities across the United States, who have saved more than $1.74 billion since the program was created.

Three key ABLE provisions are set to expire in 2025:

  • ABLE to Work: An individual with a disability who is employed can contribute an additional amount to his or her ABLE account. This additional contribution cannot be greater than either:
    • the prior year’s federal poverty level for a one-person household ($15,060 in 2024), or
    • the beneficiary’s yearly compensation.
  • ABLE Saver’s Credit: An individual with a disability who makes qualified contributions to their ABLE account can qualify for a nonrefundable saver’s credit of up to $1,000.
  • 529 to ABLE rollover: An individual with a disability may rollover from a 529 education savings account to an ABLE account funds that are less than or equal to the annual ABLE contribution limit are not subject to income taxation.

The ENABLE Act would make all three provisions permanent, enshrining expanded access to the ABLE program. The bipartisan bill was co-sponsored by Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Peter Welch (D-VT), Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK).

As the lead sponsor of the ABLE Act, passed in 2014, Senator Casey has long been a champion of ABLE accounts. He introduced the ABLE Age Adjustment Act to extend the eligibility of ABLE accounts from those who acquired their disability before the age of 26 to the age of 46. At an Aging Committee field hearing in August 2022, Senator Casey uplifted the success of the ABLE program and pushed for his bill to expand the program to 6.2 million additional Americans, including more than one million veterans. Senator Casey’s bill passed in December 2022 and takes effect in 2026.