Jewish Federations Hail Passage of ABLE Act in Senate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 16, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT:
Max Samis, Rabinowitz Communications, max@rabinowitz.com, (o) 202-265-3000, (c) 202-681-2528

Jewish Federations Hail Passage of ABLE Act in Senate
Legislation passed earlier in month by the House of Representatives, will now move to President Obama’s desk

Washington, D.C. – Following an overwhelming vote earlier this month in the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate passed the ABLE Act, clearing the legislation’s path to President Barack Obama’s desk. The Jewish Federations of North America praised the bill, which would provide much needed tax-free savings accounts to people with disabilities. The groundbreaking legislation is widely viewed as being the most important legislation specifically relating to people with disabilities since the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

“After years of effort to make this bill a reality, we are exceptionally pleased that the Senate has taken such swift action following the House of Representative’s vote earlier this month,” stated William Daroff, senior vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office for Jewish Federations. “People with disabilities deserve to be able to plan for their futures and to build a life for themselves, and this legislation will help them do so. We look forward to President Obama signing the bill and its speedy enactment into law.”

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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