Legislation Would Add Option For Special Needs Planning

Parents of special needs children know how expensive education, therapies, rehabilitation and other medical costs can be.  When children transition into adulthood, adding in the costs of transportation, housing and other basic living necessities can be financially devastating.  Traditional planning for families included, among other things, special needs trusts to manage and distribute funds for special needs beneficiaries over their lifetimes.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) would allow parents and caregivers to put money into tax-deferred savings plans, like the 529 plans that parents use to save for college, to cover expenses like education, housing, transportation, therapy, rehabilitation and assistive technology. Advocates say the accounts, called 529-ABLE plans, would be easier and less expensive to set up and maintain than the trust funds often used for beneficiaries with disabilities.  As some government assistance programs only allow beneficiaries to keep $2,000, these new plans would allow a beneficiary funds to cover many services without jeopardizing programs like SSI and Medicaid.

Planning financially for a special needs child can be overwhelming.  Expanding the options for special needs families is critical.  To read the text of the bill and track the progress, click HERE.