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Dear Nuvo Editors:
Federal law prohibits individuals with disabilities from owning more than $2,000 in assets at any given time or they lose their benefits. Retirement savings, homes, cars and other basic items that everyone needs to live their everyday lives are effectively off-limits. This prevents individuals with disabilities from building independent lives and creates a model of perpetual dependence on federal assistance for a lifetime, which is unfair to all Americans.
There is a bill before the U.S. Congress that has wide bipartisan and bicameral support that allows people with disabilities to save for their future for education, housing, transportation and job training expenses, and create incentives to employment. The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) (S. 1872/H.R. 3423) is a bill that has earned the support of over 50% of the US House of Representatives and 30% of the Senate. This legislation will allow for more independent living for members of the disability community and will not cost taxpayers one cent.
I feel strongly that individuals with disabilities deserve the right to save for their future just like every other American, and the ABLE Act does just that. The ABLE Act could fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals like education, employment training, housing, healthcare, and transportation. It would also help individuals with Down syndrome be able to be independent and not have to be dependent on public benefits for everything.
In Indiana, I want to thank Representative Andre Carson, Dan Burton, and Joe Donnelly and Peter Visclosky, for cosponsoring this very important legislation. It is the right thing to do for all people with disabilities and their families in Indiana. I want to ask Senators Dan Coats and Richard Lugar to cosponsor the ABLE Act. I would also like to ask Congressman Mike Pence and Todd Rokita to cosponsor the ABLE Act.
Lisa Wells, Executive Director
Down Syndrome Indiana