[Ohio-talk] {Disarmed} Fwd: ABLE act

Aleeha Dudley blindcowgirl1993 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 17 20:06:23 UTC 2014



Aleeha Dudley and seeing eye dog Dallas 
Vice President, Ohio Association of blind students
Blindcowgirl1993 at gmail.com
"The wind of Heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears." Arabian proverb 
 
Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "'Becky Frankeberger' b.butterfly at comcast.net [seeing-eye-cafe]" <seeing-eye-cafe at yahoogroups.com>
> Date: December 17, 2014 at 2:45:42 PM EST
> To: <TSE-Chat at yahoogroups.com>
> Cc: <seeing-eye-cafe at yahoogroups.com>
> Subject: [seeing-eye-cafe] ABLE act
> Reply-To: seeing-eye-cafe at yahoogroups.com
> 
> Good News for People With Disabilities
> 
> For first time in nation's history, federal government recognizes added costs associated
> 
> to living with a disability
> 
> (Washington, D.C. - Dec. 17, 2014)
> 
> - Last night, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the Achieving a Better Life
> 
> Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 by a vote of 76 to 16. First introduced in 2006, and
> 
> subsequent sessions of Congress, the ABLE Act will allow people with disabilities
> 
> (with an age of onset up to 26 years old) and their families the opportunity to create
> 
> a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for maintaining health, independence
> 
> and quality of life.
> 
> "Today marks a new day in our country's understanding and support of people with
> 
> disabilities and their families," Michael Morris,
> 
> National Disability Institute
> 
> (NDI) Executive Director, said. "A major victory for the disability community, ABLE,
> 
> for the very first time in our country's policy on disability, recognizes that there
> 
> are added costs to living with a disability." He continued. "For far too long, federally
> 
> imposed asset limits to remain eligible for critical public benefits have served
> 
> as a roadblock toward greater financial independence for the millions of individuals
> 
> living with a disability."
> 
> NDI has long championed the ABLE Act as a critical strategy to providing a pathway
> 
> to a better economic future for all people with disabilities. As the nation's first
> 
> nonprofit dedicated to improving the financial health and future of all people with
> 
> disabilities, the organization has extensively documented and called attention to
> 
> the daily reality and extra expenses associated with living with a disability, and
> 
> the challenges of navigating the complex web of government rules to maintain public
> 
> benefits eligibility.
> 
> In recognition of this unprecedented legislation, NDI has created a list of 10 items
> 
> about ABLE accounts that individuals with disabilities and their families should
> 
> know:
> 
> ABLE Accounts: 10 Things You Must Know
> 
> 1. What is an ABLE account?
> 
> ABLE Accounts, which are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities
> 
> and their families, will be created as a result of the passage of the ABLE Act of
> 
> 2014. Income earned by the accounts would not be taxed. Contributions to the account
> 
> made by any person (the account beneficiary, family and friends) would not be tax
> 
> deductible.
> 
> 1. Why the need for ABLE accounts?
> 
> Millions of individuals with disabilities and their families depend on a wide variety
> 
> of public benefits for income, health care and food and housing assistance. Eligibility
> 
> for these public benefits (SSI, SNAP, Medicaid) require meeting a means or resource
> 
> test that limits eligibility to individuals to report more than $2,000 in cash savings,
> 
> retirement funds and other items of significant value. To remain eligible for these
> 
> public benefits, an individual must remain poor. For the first time in public policy,
> 
> the ABLE Act recognizes the extra and significant costs of living with a disability.
> 
> These include costs, related to raising a child with significant disabilities or
> 
> a working age adult with disabilities, for accessible housing and transportation,
> 
> personal assistance services, assistive technology and health care not covered by
> 
> insurance, Medicaid or Medicare.
> 
> For the first time, eligible individuals and families will be allowed to establish
> 
> ABLE savings accounts that will not affect their eligibility for SSI, Medicaid and
> 
> other public benefits. The legislation explains further that an ABLE account will,
> 
> with private savings, "secure funding for disability-related expenses on behalf of
> 
> designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant,
> 
> benefits provided through private insurance, Medicaid, SSI, the beneficiary's employment
> 
> and other sources."
> 
> 1. Am I eligible for an ABLE account?
> 
> Passage of legislation is a result of a series of compromises. The final version
> 
> of the ABLE Act limits eligibility to individuals with significant disabilities with
> 
> an age of onset of disability before turning 26 years of age. If you meet this criteria
> 
> and are also receiving benefits already under SSI and/or SSDI, you are automatically
> 
> eligible to establish an ABLE account. If you are not a recipient of SSI and/or SSDI,
> 
> but still meet the age of onset disability requirement, you would still be eligible
> 
> to open an ABLE account if you meet SSI criteria regarding significant functional
> 
> limitations. The regulations to be written in 2015 by the Treasury Department will
> 
> have to explain further the standard of proof and required medical documentation.
> 
> You need not be under the age of 26 to be eligible for an ABLE account. You could
> 
> be over the age of 26, but must have the documentation of disability that indicates
> 
> age of onset before the age of 26.
> 
> 1. Are there limits to how much money can be put in an ABLE account?
> 
> The total annual contributions by all participating individuals, including family
> 
> and friends, is $14,000. The amount will be adjusted annually for inflation. Under
> 
> current tax law, $14,000 is the maximum amount that individuals can make as a gift
> 
> to someone else and not pay taxes (gift tax exclusion). The total limit over time
> 
> that could be made to an ABLE account will be subject to the individual state and
> 
> their limit for education-related 529 savings accounts. Many states have set this
> 
> limit at more than $300,000 per plan. However, for individuals with disabilities
> 
> who are recipients of SSI and Medicaid, the ABLE Act sets some further limitations.
> 
> The first $100,000 in ABLE accounts would be exempted from the SSI $2,000 individual
> 
> resource limit. If and when an ABLE account exceeds $100,000, the beneficiary would
> 
> be suspended from eligibility for SSI benefits and no longer receive that monthly
> 
> income. However, the beneficiary would continue to be eligible for Medicaid. States
> 
> would be able to recoup some expenses through Medicaid upon the death of the beneficiary.
> 
> 1. Which expenses are allowed by ABLE accounts?
> 
> A "qualified disability expense" means any expense related to the designated beneficiary
> 
> as a result of living a life with disabilities. These include education, housing,
> 
> transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology, personal support
> 
> services, health care expenses, financial management and administrative services
> 
> and other expenses which will be further described in regulations to be developed
> 
> in 2015 by the Treasury Department.
> 
> 1. Where do I go to open an ABLE account?
> 
> Each state is responsible for establishing and operating an ABLE program. If a state
> 
> should choose not to establish its own program, the state may choose to contract
> 
> with another state to still offer its eligible individuals with significant disabilities
> 
> the opportunity to open an ABLE account.
> 
> After President Obama signs the ABLE Act, the Secretary of the Department of Treasury
> 
> will begin to develop regulations that will guide the states in terms of a) the information
> 
> required to be presented to open an ABLE account; b) the documentation needed to
> 
> meet the requirements of ABLE account eligibility for a person with a disability;
> 
> and c) the definition details of "qualified disability expenses" and the documentation
> 
> that will be needed for tax reporting.
> 
> No accounts can be established until the regulations are finalized following a public
> 
> comment period on proposed rules for program implementation. States will begin to
> 
> accept applications to establish ABLE accounts before the end of 2015.
> 
> 1. Can I have more than one ABLE account?
> 
> No. The ABLE Act limits the opportunity to one ABLE account per eligible individual.
> 
> 1. Will states offer options to invest the savings contributed to an ABLE account?
> 
> Like state 529 college savings plans, states are likely to offer qualified individuals
> 
> and families multiple options to establish ABLE accounts with varied investment strategies.
> 
> Each individual and family will need to project possible future needs and costs over
> 
> time, and to assess their risk tolerance for possible future investment strategies
> 
> to grow their savings. Account contributors or designated beneficiaries are limited,
> 
> by the ABLE Act, to change the way their money is invested in the account up to two
> 
> times per year.
> 
> 1. How many eligible individuals and families might benefit from establishing an ABLE
> 
> account?
> 
> There are 58 million individuals with disabilities in the United States. To meet
> 
> the definition of significant disability required by the legislation to be eligible
> 
> to establish an ABLE account, the conservative number would be approximately 10 percent
> 
> of the larger group, or 5.8 million individuals and families. Further analysis is
> 
> needed to understand more fully the size of this market and more about their needs
> 
> for new savings and investment products.
> 
> 1. How is an ABLE account different than a special needs or pooled trust?
> 
> An ABLE Account will provide more choice and control for the beneficiary and family.
> 
> Cost of establishing an account will be considerably less than either a Special Needs
> 
> Trust (SNT) or Pooled Income Trust. With an ABLE account, account owners will have
> 
> the ability to control their funds and, if circumstances change, still have other
> 
> options available to them. Determining which option is the most appropriate will
> 
> depend upon individual circumstances. For many families, the ABLE account will be
> 
> a significant and viable option in addition to, rather than instead of, a Trust program.
> 
> About National Disability Institute
> 
> National Disability Institute
> 
> (NDI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building a better economic
> 
> future for people with disabilities. The first national organization committed exclusively
> 
> to championing economic empowerment, financial education, asset development and financial
> 
> stability for all persons with disabilities, NDI affects change through public education,
> 
> policy development, training, technical assistance and innovative initiatives. NDI
> 
> and its
> 
> Real Economic Impact (REI) Network
> 
> have helped more than 2.3 million people with disabilities receive nearly $2.3 billion
> 
> in tax refunds and credits. To learn more, visit
> 
> www.realeconomicimpact.org
> 
> . Engage with NDI on Facebook:
> 
> RealEconImpact
> 
> or follow NDI on Twitter:
> 
> @RealEconImpact
> 
> __._,_.___
> Posted by: "Becky Frankeberger" <b.butterfly at comcast.net>
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