We all choose the adventure of eSchooling for particular reasons. Sometimes those reasons have to do with the health and abilities of our children.* Many children served by eSchools fall under the special education umbrella and needs of these students range from mild to severe. The U.S. Congress recently developed a new type of savings plan for individuals with severe disabilities. The “Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act” was “designed to provide new opportunities for individuals and families to save for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities in maintaining their health and independence.” (Ways and Means Summary of H.R. 647, Dec. 1, 2014).
After development of the ABLE Act at the federal level, it has been passed on to each state, where state laws and regulations are created pertaining to the act. ABLE Act has moved through the Ohio House and Senate and is now headed to Gov. Kasich for a signature. The Ohio legislation will allow those with severe disabilities to establish a special savings account that will help these individuals and their families manage the significant costs of living with a disability.
We do know several specifics about ABLE Accounts:
- Accounts can be started and tapped into for an individual of any age who is eligible. “Eligible individuals must be severely disabled before turning age 26, based on marked and severe functional limitation or receipt of benefits under the SSI or Disability Insurance programs.” (Summary of H.R. 647)
- Account contributions can be used for expenses relating to the individual’s: health, education, housing, training, assistive technology, personal support, related services and expenses.
More information on the ABLE Act is sure to come. For more specifics on the national new law, feel free to view it at: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr5771/text. Once the ABLE Act is officially in place in Ohio, look for more information on the State of Ohio Treasurer’s website. We’ll keep you updated as best we can.
Would your eSchooled loved one(s) benefit from this new program? We’d love to hear your responses!
*We know this won’t affect every eSchool family, but because of the importance of the information for those it does affect, we decided to make it available to all of our families.