ABLE Authorization Close to Passing in NC; US Seeks Feedback

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This article was contributed by Jennifer Mahan, ASNC Director of Advocacy and Public Policy.

The federal government released draft guidelines for ABLE accounts and will be taking comments on the new regulations for the next 90 days. Advocates are concerned that requirements for certifying that spending for allowed expenses with ABLE account funds under the new regulations will be difficult for families and individuals with disabilities to navigate. We encourage people to review the draft guidelines and submit their comments to the IRS at this link.

If you would to contribute comments on the draft guidelines through the Autism Society of North Carolina, please send them to Jennifer Mahan, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, at jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org. ASNC will make comments on the draft regulations along with several of our advocacy partners.

Progress in NC

Twenty-two states have passed authorizing legislation for ABLE accounts, and North Carolina’s ABLE Act authorizing legislation is moving forward! Both the NC House and Senate included funding to administer and promote the use of ABLE accounts in the budget. The House passed its ABLE bill unanimously, and the bill now moves on to the Senate, where it has much support. Please thank your House and Senate members for their efforts to pass this legislation in North Carolina.

ASNC will continue to advocate for the ABLE Act in NC, and we are looking forward to sharing information with you about the new program once the legislation passes.

Background: The federal ABLE Act, Achieving a Better Life Experience, allows states to set up savings programs that are similar to 529 college savings but specifically for people with significant disabilities. ABLE savings plans would allow people with disabilities, their families, or friends to save money for future needs such as support, housing, services, health care, and personal care, without jeopardizing eligibility for other needed benefit programs. People of any age who acquired their disability before the age of 26 are potentially eligible. SSI and SSDI recipients would be eligible automatically; other people who have significant disabilities will have to meet a disability standard of proof established by Treasury regulations that will be written this year. For more information about ABLE accounts, please see our previous blog post.

Have questions about this legislation or other public policy issues? Contact Jennifer Mahan, ASNC Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, at jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org or 919-865-5068.

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