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Treasurer Joe Torsella celebrated the fifth anniversary of the passage of the national Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE). This legislation, sponsored by Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senator Bob Casey, paved the way for states to create ABLE programs. ABLE programs give people with disabilities access to savings options, without impacting eligibility for essential federal benefits.
“BEFORE ABLE, INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE FORCED TO LIVE IN POVERTY, OR LOSE THEIR NEEDED BENEFITS. SAVING THEIR OWN MONEY FOR THINGS LIKE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY OR AN ACCESSIBLE VEHICLE WAS NEVER AN OPTION. FIVE YEARS AGO, THAT CHANGED. THANKS TO SENATOR CASEY’S WORK ON THE ABLE ACT, AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES—INCLUDING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PENNSYLVANIANS—NOW HAVE CRITICAL ACCESS TO SAVINGS VEHICLES THAT WERE ONCE OFF-LIMITS.” –Pennsylvania Treasurer, Joe Torsella
Pennsylvania’s ABLE program, PA ABLE, is the largest among the 17 states that are members of the National ABLE Alliance. PA ABLE continues to see exceptional growth with nearly 3,000 open accounts, and more than $22 million in assets.
ABLE programs allow people with disabilities to save their own money without jeopardizing access to state and federal programs such as Supplemental Security Income (savings up to $100,000) and Medical Assistance.
PA ABLE account owners also benefit from tax advantages including no federal or PA state income tax on savings growth or on qualified withdrawals. Qualified expenses can include housing, education, health care, transportation, assistive technology, and more. PA ABLE accounts are also exempt from PA inheritance tax. Account owners have access to seven different investment options, including an interest-bearing checking account with an accompanying debit card.
Plus, PA ABLE contributions may be deducted on Pennsylvania income tax up to $15,000 per year. This PA state income tax deduction is exclusive to contributions made to the PA ABLE Savings Program.
The PA ABLE Act was championed in 2016 by former Representative Bernie O’Neill and Senator Lisa Baker. The PA ABLE program launched in April of 2017.
To learn more about the opportunity to save with PA ABLE, please visit PAABLE.gov or call 1-855-529-ABLE (2253).