Congress passes ‘ABLE Act’, liberalizing assistance for disabled

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Congress passed legislation that would liberalize rules for government assistance for the disabled, a key lobbying issue for major Jewish groups.

The Senate on Tuesday passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which had been passed earlier this month by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The act, which would allow anyone with a disability and their families to save money for education, housing, transportation, employment support and health, now goes to President Obama for his signature.

Currently, only disabled individuals with $2,000 or less in savings are eligible for money from Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income.

The Jewish Federations of North America and the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center had been among groups lobbying for the act’s passage.

“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,” William Daroff, JFNA’s Washington director, said in a statement.