Maryland's ABLE Program
About the ABLE ACT
The Federal ABLE Act
On December 19, 2014, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law. This federal law will give many people who acquired disabilities prior to the age of 26 the ability to open tax-exempt bank accounts without losing eligibility for federal means-tested benefits. Funds in these accounts can be used for disability-related expenses. Eligible individuals must open an account in their state of residence, and most states are still working to set up programs to administer these accounts.
Maryland's Task Force
The Maryland General Assembly passed legislation creating the Task Force on Maryland's ABLE Program. The Task Force will develop a plan for implementing the Maryland ABLE program, which will include: what the structure of the program should be; whether the program should be State–sponsored or privately–run; and if State–sponsored, identify the State agency that will house the program. The Task held six public meetings between Jun 1 and December 1, and provided a
final report and legislative recommendations to the General Assembly on December 1, 2015. Text of SB761
What's Next for Maryland
Maryland does not yet have a functioning ABLE program. The General Assembly will need to pass a law, approved by the Governor, to create a program. The Task Force on Maryland's ABLE Program sent the General Assembly recommendations for what such a law would include. If a law is passed during the 2016 legislative session, program development can begin in early to mid 2016.
Additional Resources on the ABLE Act
Several groups are tracking ABLE legislation nationally, including: