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 tool. 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 current ABLE eligibility rules.

ABLE Age Adjustment Act

Advocates are working to increase access to ABLE accounts.  In February 2021, the bi-partisan ABLE Age Adjustment Act was reintroduced in the 117th 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 current eligible population.

Advocacy Alert

Contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives and urge them to support the ABLE Age Adjustment Act (S. 331 and H.R. 1219). This legislation can ensure that more people have access to ABLE programs, helping them achieve greater financial security and stability throughout their lives. Find and contact your elected officials.

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