It’s time to increase eligibility from age 26 to 46!

Countless people with disabilities have asked us at IL ABLE, “Why did my disability have to happen before I turned 26 to make me eligible for an ABLE account?  This seems so arbitrary and excludes so many people with disabilities.”

We agree! For many people with disabilities who want to open an Illinois ABLE account, the current federal age requirement excludes them from enrolling. Families have told us of a loved one whose first symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis appeared after age 26.  Some individuals acquired a spinal cord or brain injury from an accident that happened after age 26.  Then, there is our own U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth who served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot in Iraq and lost both legs and some mobility in her arm during combat.  Because she sustained her injuries after age 26, Senator Duckworth is not eligible to open an ABLE account and benefit from the greater financial independence that ABLE accounts provide. That makes no sense.

How will raising the ABLE age help people with disabilities?

  1. About 250,000 more individuals in Illinois will be able to open ABLE accounts – 6 million more nationwide.
  2. More individuals with disabilities will save for disability expenses without worrying about federal benefits caps, such as the $2,000 SSI benefit cap.
  3. People with disabilities and their families will experience greater financial independence!

What can you do?

You can help by emailing your Representative and asking him/her to co-sponsor ABLE Age Adjustment Act S.651/H.R.1814.  And check out this recent OP-ED letter by Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs in support of the ABLE Age Adjustment Act.

Learn more about Illinois ABLE here.

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