Jewish Federations Applaud Passage of ABLE Act in House of Representatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 3, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT:
Max Samis, Rabinowitz Communications, max@rabinowitz.com

Jewish Federations Applaud Passage of ABLE Act in House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. – Following years of work, disability rights activists cheered as the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ABLE Act, which would provide much needed tax-free savings accounts to people with disabilities. The Jewish Federations of North America, which has long been a leader in the fight to improve inclusion for people with disabilities, praised the passage as an important step towards allowing those in the disability community to plan and save for their futures.

“Today is a tremendous day for people with disabilities who have fought so hard and so long to be able to take control of their own lives,” stated William Daroff, senior vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office for Jewish Federations. “The ABLE Act, which has the support of an overwhelming majority of both houses of Congress, would provide needed support to people with disabilities and their families. We look forward to working with President Obama and the 74 Senators co-sponsoring the ABLE Act, and we urge lawmakers to move forward with this bill before the end of the current legislative session.”

The ABLE Act (H.R. 647/S. 313) would amend the tax code to create tax-free savings accounts of up to $100,000 for qualified expenses such as medical, post-secondary education, housing, and transportation, for millions who face the daily struggle of living with disabilities. These funds would supplement, but not supplant, the benefits received from sources such as private insurance, Medicaid and the Supplemental Security Income program, providing new and valuable lines of support to people with disabilities and their families. Currently, laws in place discourage people with disabilities from saving for the future, as those with more than $2000 in assets are ineligible for many essential government benefits. The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities to save without putting those much needed benefits in danger.

The Jewish Federations of North America created and serves as co-chair of the Jewish Disability Network alongside the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, which has worked to make the ABLE Act and other legislation a reality for people with disabilities throughout the United States. Jewish Federations are committed to continuing to advocate for people with disabilities and improving inclusion throughout the Jewish community and the United States at large.

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The Jewish Federations, collectively among the top 10 charities on the continent, protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning).

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