Under provisions of a bill currently under consideration by the Nebraska Unicameral, individuals and families would be able to set aside tax-free savings accounts for the care of disabled persons. LB591, authored by Lincoln Senator Kate Bolz, would allow accounts similar to 529 college saving accounts. Called ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts , individuals and families could establish these accounts to set aside as much as $100,000 to be used for the education, housing, assistive technology and other needs of disabled persons.
Under Senator Bolz’s plan, which is for individuals who became disabled prior to age 26, the money in an ABLE account would not count as an asset. Under current law, disabled individuals can lose certain Social Security benefits and Medicaid coverage if they have more than $2,000 in assets. “LB591 helps to empower individuals with disabilities to pursue higher education, jobs and other goals and dreams,” Bolz said.
In supporting the measure, State Senator Colby Coash (Lincoln) called it one of the most important bills the Unicameral could pass this year, because it will give parents a way to help their disabled children now and in the future when the parents may no longer be able to provide for them. “They need a tool for their children with disabilities to help plan for the future,” Coash said.
Federal legislation allowing states to establish these kinds of accounts was passed in 2014 and Senator Bolz says Nebraska could be among the very first states in the union to create tax-sheltered accounts for the disabled.
We, at Cuddigan Law, support LB591 and encourage you to let your elected representatives know how you feel about this measure and other important legislation affecting the disabled in Nebraska and Iowa.