Rep. Bacon: New law helps Hoosiers with disabilities

Posted by: Hannah Carlock  | Monday, March 14, 2016 9:00 am

New law helps Hoosiers with disabilities

This year’s legislative session has come to a close, and one of the most significant pieces of legislation enacted into law will have a major impact on the lives of Hoosiers with disabilities by establishing a state ABLE program.

Currently, people with disabilities are not allowed to have a savings account above $2,000 without affecting their public assistance such as Medicaid. In 2013, the federal government enacted the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, allowing people with disabilities to set up tax-free savings accounts that do not impact their public assistance benefits. The money in these savings accounts may be used to pay for services including medical and dental care, education, employment training, housing and transportation.

Indiana is establishing a state ABLE Program under Senate Enrolled Act II. This new law will implement what the federal government enacted, and aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by allowing them to establish tax-free savings accounts to cover qualified expenses for education, housing and transportation, among other things. ABLE accounts will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment and other sources.

The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that other Americans have through college and health savings accounts and individual retirement accounts. I understand the financial burdens that can be placed on Hoosiers with disabilities and their loved ones. As a parent, I supported this bill to help those who deserve assistance while fostering a positive environment for individuals to thrive and grow in our great Hoosier state.

The ABLE Act is one of many bills passed by the House of Representatives during this quick but productive legislative session. As the 2016 legislative session comes to a close, please continue communicating with me at (317) 232-9833 or h75@iga.in.gov. Citizens in House District 75 are also encouraged to sign up to receive my electronic legislative updates, all it takes is an email address. To begin receiving these updates, visit www.in.gov/h75.  

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       Rep. Bacon (R-Chandler) represents portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.