ABLEnow Blog

Expand ABLE Eligibility

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Linda “Gail” Newell is a self-advocate who would love to save with ABLEnow, but is not eligible. A vehicle accident, caused by a drunk driver, left Gail paralyzed in 2000. Because she was older than 26 when she was disabled, Gail does not meet the age of onset requirement to open an ABLE account.

“Independent living is vital. I am not defined by my disability, and I advocate to remove barriers throughout my community” said Gail, who is the 2018-2019 Ms. Wheelchair Virginia and serves on the Disabilities Services Board in Lexington, Va.

“I am one of many Americans with disabilities who should be allowed the financial inclusion of saving in an ABLE account,” added Gail.

ABLE accounts help level the financial playing field for individuals with disabilities, providing a pathway to greater stability and independence. 

Unfortunately, millions of Americans with disabilities are not eligible for this valuable financial resource to save for the future without jeopardizing certain essential benefits. ABLE eligibility is tied to the age of onset of the disability, which is capped at age 26. Under the current law, those who sustain a severe injury or develop a chronic health condition after their 26th birthday are not eligible to open an ABLE account. Learn more about the current ABLE eligibility rules in this article.

ABLE Age Adjustment Act

Advocates are working to increase access to ABLE accounts. Previously introduced in the 114th and 115th Congresses, the bipartisan ABLE Age Adjustment Act has been reintroduced in the 116th Congress.

By passing the ABLE Age Adjustment Act, more than 14 million people with disabilities would be eligible to open ABLE accounts, nearly doubling the currently eligible population.

Advocacy Alert

Contact your U.S. Senators and member of the U.S. House of Representatives and urge them to support the ABLE Age Adjustment Act, S. 651 in the Senate and H.R. 1814 in the House.

Members of Congress need to hear that it is imperative that the legislation be enacted immediately both to bolster the national viability of ABLE programs and to dramatically expand the reach and benefit of ABLE accounts. Find and contact your elected officials.

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