Proposed bill could benefit Social Security disability recipients

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill may provide for the creation of a special kind of tax-free savings account to benefit people receiving Social Security disability. The proposed bill, which would affect recipients of Social Security disability throughout the country is being referred to as the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. One of the motivations for creating the bill is to resolve the fact that many individuals with disabilities are discouraged from working or going to school under the current laws affecting Social Security recipients in Pennsylvania.

The problem is due to a 40-year-old law that prevents many Social Security disability recipients from saving over $2,000 or earning over $700 a month. Those who earn and save more than these amounts could lose their ability to receive Social Security and Medicaid. Under the ABLE Act, disability income recipients would have the ability to save another $14,000 per year.

Proponents of the ABLE Act say that the extra ability to save would allow disability recipients to save for housing, education and other costs while helping them to be less dependent on others for their support. One disabled individual made several statements to the Senate Finance Subcommittee in favor of the legislation. The woman said that her having Down syndrome should not prevent her from pursuing her full potential in life.

When it comes to receiving Social Security disability income and earning money at the same time, a variety of rules and regulations come into play, depending on one’s circumstances. Pennsylvania residents who are receiving disability income may benefit by gaining an understanding of those rules and regulations and how they apply to their unique situation before they decide to take a new job or other income-earning opportunity. Fortunately, by reviewing one’s circumstances, many common pitfalls can be avoided.

Source:, "Lawmakers push new savings account for people with disabilities", Bernie Becker, Aug. 16, 2014