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Virginia is First State to Pass ABLE Act Implementation Legislation to Lessen Financial Strains for Those with Disabilities

May 29, 2015

In April, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe signed into law the state’s Achieving A Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which permits certain people with disabilities to maintain tax-advantaged savings accounts to cover a variety of expenses, including healthcare, housing and transportationrelated costs without losing eligibility for means-tested programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In late 2014, Congress enacted Federal legislation authorizing such accounts. Each state must pass enabling legislation in order to make the accounts available in that state.

ABLE accounts are intended to enable people with disabilities to achieve greater financial security while retaining necessary benefits, including eligibility for health care and long-term supports and services under Medicaid. These accounts may be particularly helpful for workers with disabilities who need a financial “cushion” to cover unexpected medical, transportation, mobility or other expenses associated with their disability in order to maintain employment and optimal self-sufficiency.

Other states that have passed ABLE Act enabling legislation include Tennessee and Montana. To read more about the ABLE Act, visit the National Disability Institute (NDI) page on the ABLE Act.