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Gov. Deal Signs ABLE Act (HB768) into law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mitch Leff, mitch@leffassociates.com, 404-861-4769

ATLANTA, May 3, 2016 – Gov. Nathan Deal this morning signed the ABLE Act (HB768) into law. ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) will allow private savings for people with serious disabilities to support their independence in the community.

“We want to thank Rep. Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville), the author of the bill, and Senator Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) who carried the bill in the Senate,” said Kathy Keeley, executive director of All About Developmental Disabilities, the nonprofit that led a coalition of advocacy groups in support of the bill.

Individuals with disabilities face significant barriers to finding and holding employment and living independently because their access to critical safety-net programs can be lost once they establish even a minimal level of savings.

This results in a disincentive to work and obstacles to living in the community. ABLE will help eligible individuals with disabilities to work, save for qualified disability expenses, and live as independently as possible without losing access to Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and other means-tested benefits.

More About the ABLE Act

The Georgia ABLE Act will operate under federal authorization legislation passed in 2014 to make a tax advantaged savings account available to cover qualified expenses. Those would include education, housing, and transportation for people with serious disabilities.

Structured similar to a higher education 529 savings account, an ABLE account may be used to fund a variety of essential expenses for eligible individuals with disabilities, including medical and dental care, education, community-based supports, employment training and support, assistive technology, housing and transportation.