History of the ABLE Act
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2013 (S. 313/H.R.647) was introduced in the 113th Congress by a bipartisan group of Congressional Champions that included Sens. Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Pete Sessions (R-TX).
On December 3, 2014, the ABLE Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives (404-17). Two weeks later, on December 16, the U.S. Senate voted to pass the ABLE Act as a part of the Tax Extenders package, a group of more than 50 tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013. On Friday, December 19, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Tax Extenders package, making the ABLE Act the law of the land.
The ABLE Act amends Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. By making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified disability-related expenses (including education, housing and transportation), this law aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities. Additionally, the funds contributed into these accounts will not negatively impact the person’s eligibility for public benefits, such as Medicaid. The funds in these accounts don’t replace benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the Supplemental Security Income program, the beneficiary’s employment and other sources. Instead, the funds supplement these benefits.
Use the links below to view the legislative summary of H.R. 647 and find out if your senators and representative cosponsored the ABLE Act of 2013:
- Legislative Summary
- Senate ABLE Act Cosponsors
- House ABLE Act Cosponsors
- 2018 IRS Changes
- 2020 IRS Final ABLE Regulations
The ABLE Age Adjustment Act
The ABLE Age Adjustment Act (S.331 and H.R. 1219) was reintroduced in the 117th Congress (2021-2022) on February 23, 2021. Similar legislation was introduced in the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as S. 817 and H.R. 1874 and in the 116th Congress (2019-2020) as S.651 and H.R. 1814 with significant bipartisan support.
ABLE Age Adjustment Act passed as part of the Omnibus Spending Bill. This bill will increase the age of ABLE eligibility from “before age 26” to “before age 46” effective 01/01/2026. This will expand the number of ABLE eligible individuals by an estimated six million people, including one million veterans. National Disability Institute (NDI), parent company of the ABLE National Resource Center, and ABLE supporters and disability advocates from across the country strongly supported this change. Prior to passage of the spending bill, NDI Executive Director Tom Foley sat down with U.S. Senator Bob Casey in a Kitchen Table Conversation to discuss financial protection for people with disabilities and the ABLE Age Adjustment Act.