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LEAD Focuses on the Connection between the ABLE Act and Employment

June 29, 2017

This past quarter, the LEAD Center conducted substantial work to educate disability-related stakeholders about how having an ABLE account can assist a person with obtaining and maintaining competitive integrated employment.

These efforts began with the release of the brief: The ABLE Act and Employment: Strategies for Maximizing the Effectiveness of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act as a Tool for Financial Stability and Employment Outcomes of People with Disabilities. The brief demonstrates how provisions in the ABLE Act can be combined with federal benefit services and other federal programs and initiatives to further competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities. The brief contains a list of the provisions of the ABLE Act, their impact on the financial self-sufficiency and employment opportunities of persons with disabilities, and recommendations on how to best utilize the ABLE Act to maximize these outcomes.

Some examples included in the brief of how an ABLE account can be combined with other supports to increase financial self-sufficiency and/or employment opportunities, include:

  • Utilizing the PASS (Plan for Achieving Self-Support) program in conjunction with ABLE account savings to maintain supported employment services.
  • Using the ABLE accounts to pay for Medicaid Buy-In Program premiums rather than limiting earned income to stay below Medicaid’s income limits. This enables people to continue to be eligible for Medicaid-funded supported employment services while steadily improving their financial status.
  • Having state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and other programs providing assistance that links people to support for setting up ABLE accounts.

Additionally, the LEAD Center, in collaboration with the ABLE National Resource Center, hosted the webinar, “The ABLE Act: A Tool for Financial Stability and Employment Outcomes,” which garnered more than 1,200 registrants. The webinar shared both general information about the ABLE Act and being an ABLE account owner, and focused on how being an ABLE account owner can assist people with disabilities in building a stronger economic future and result in more positive employment outcomes.

Lastly, the LEAD Center held a three-week ABLE National Dialogue that created a robust conversations on how ABLE accounts can be used to support employment or self-employment/entrepreneurship and increase economic empowerment and financial self-sufficiency.

The LEAD Center strongly encourages you to take advantage of the archived materials provided through the links in this article in order to learn more about how ABLE can help people with disabilities thrive economically.