The ABLE Act


The federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law by President Obama on December 19, 2014. This bill will allow people with disabilities and their families to create tax-free savings accounts to use for their futures without risking the person’s eligibility for benefits. ABLE plans would function much in the way that 529 college savings plans do while accounting for the unique future needs of people with disabilities. Qualified expenses under ABLE plans would include:

 Education Housing
 Medical/dental care Transportation
 Assistive Technology Community supports
 Employment training
On June 10, 2015, Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell signed a state-level bill that implements the federal legsilation.  See below for more information about the bill that was passed by the Delaware General Assembly.

House Bill 60 

Primary Sponsor(s): M. Smith Additional Sponsor(s):    Rep. Paradee & Rep. Heffernan & Rep. Ramone & Rep. Miro & Sen. Henry & Sen. Cloutier & Sen. Peterson & Sen. McDowell & Sen. Lavelle

Co-Sponsors: Reps. Baumbach, Bolden, Brady, Briggs King, Dukes, Gray, Hensley, Hudson, Q. Johnson, J. Johnson, Kenton, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn, Matthews, Mitchell, Outten, Osienski, Peterman, Potter, Jaques, Schwartzkopf, B. Short, D. Short, Smyk, Spiegelman, K. Williams, Wilson, Yearick; Sens. Lopez, Poore

Introduced On: 03/19/2015

Long Title: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 10 AND 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SAVINGS ACCOUNTS TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES.

Synopsis of Bill: This bill creates an Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) Program in Delaware, to implement federal legislation enabling the creation of savings accounts with tax advantages similar to 529 accounts, designed to be used by persons with disabilities to save for qualifying disability and education related expenses. The ABLE Program will be overseen by a Board composed of 7 members: a chair appointed by the Governor, the State Treasurer, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, a current member of the Board which oversees Delaware’s 529 plans, a public member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a public member appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and a person with a disability appointed by the Governor. The Office of the State Treasurer shall provide support to the Board in carrying out its functions. The Board is empowered to take actions necessary to run the Program in compliance with federal law and regulations, including contracting with financial service providers and other consultants to implement the plan. Any contributions to these plans will not be counted against a designated beneficiary in determining that individual’s income eligibility for state or local means-tested programs.
Section 2 of the bill exempts ABLE accounts from execution or attachment pursuant to court judgments in the same manner and to the same extent as 529 education accounts are protected.