Schumer: People with disabilities should have savings

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on Congress to pass legislation that would allow people with disabilities and their families to set up tax-free savings accounts without loosing federal disability benefits.

“Unfortunately, cases of Autism and other disabilities are on the rise and passing this bipartisan legislation is more important than ever,” Schumer said Wednesday. “I’m strongly urging my colleagues to get on board with this plan and pass this bill.”

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Schumer is co-sponsoring Sen. Bob Casey’s (D-Pa.) Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which would allow people with disabilities and their families to set up tax-free savings accounts to finance long-term care. 

Currently, a person with a disability would be disqualified from government aid, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, if their income and savings exceed a certain level.

“Caring for some of our most vulnerable disabled children, and managing the huge financial cost that comes along with that care, must be a top priority for everyone, not just their families,” Schumer said. “That is why creating these tax-advantaged savings accounts, similar to IRAs, will allow parents to put away more money for their disabled child, without losing key government disability services and benefits that they need at the present.”

The bill states savings funds could be used to cover the cost of education, medical care, support services, employment training, housing and transportation services.