Special Committee on Aging Holds ABLE Hearing

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, conducted a hearing titled “Saving with ABLE: Financial Security for Pennsylvanians with Disabilities.” The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was passed into law in 2014, creating tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities to cover qualified disability-related expenses. Senator Casey highlighted how ABLE savings accounts have helped hundreds of thousands of Americans with disabilities improve their quality of life through use of these accounts, and several witnesses shared testimony on the ease of establishing accounts without impacting means testing for other benefits.

One witness would not currently qualify for an ABLE account because the onset of her disability occurred at age 40. The Enhancing American Retirement Now (EARN) Act, which cleared the Senate Finance Committee in June, includes a proposal by Senator Casey to modify eligibility if entitled to benefits based on blindness or disability occurring before the attainment of age 46 (the current age is 26). The House and Senate committees of jurisdiction are expected to review and consolidate provisions from the EARN Act and other proposals for further consideration by the full body of the House and Senate.