Governor Rick Scott’s recent signing of the ABLE Act is certainly a step in the right direction. This new act states that a disabled individual, along with his family and friends, can deposit up to $100,000 in a tax-exempt account to be used towards future needs. Though a monumental step up from the previous maximum amount of $2,000, the new law still only applies if the disabled individual acquired his disability prior to the age of 26.
Upon meeting the necessary criteria, a disabled individual is now afforded the opportunity to save funds for the future without giving up eligibility for both state and federal benefits. Prior law would have forced him to relinquish important benefits such as Supplemental Security Insurance and Medicaid once the minimum level of savings and income was met.
Funds saved in the disabled individual’s account can be put toward a variety of different avenues, including education, housing, transportation, employment support, health and wellness, and more. This ABLE Act, which stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience, hopes to afford those with disabilities the opportunity for a greater economic independence and improved quality of life.
The Senate President announced implementation of the ABLE Act as part of their Work Plan Florida 2015 joint agenda, though many other similar programs were vetoed this year. Those included heavy cuts to the Adults with Disabilities program, as well as a veto for job training and college scholarship programs.
Many people struggling with both financial trouble and disabilities can feel overwhelmed, and not know where to turn. If you are in need of assistance and advice from a trusted bankruptcy lawyer in South Florida, Kelley & Fulton invites you to schedule an appointment and learn more about how to best approach your individual situation.