ADVOCACY ALERT: Help pass the ABLE Act – contact your representatives!

Contact Your Senators and Representative Member Before August Recess and Ask Them to Co-Sponsor the ABLE Act

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) (S. 313/H.R. 647) would create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities to cover disability related expenses such as education, housing, transportation, medical and dental expenses, speech and language therapy, community support services and assistive technology.  This account can be held by a person with a disability and not count as an asset for purposes of SSI, SSDI or Medicaid benefits.

Currently, we are asking that you e-mail your Representative and Senators and ask them to co-sponsor this bill. Information at the end of this message will tell you how to find your Congressional Representatives and who is already co-sponsoring (and therefore do not need to be contacted). Congress will begin its August recess this Friday, so please make contact before then.

Sample Letter

My name is (insert your name)_______ from _________ (insert home town) _________.

I would like to ask you to co-sponsor an important bill, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (S. 313/H.R. 647). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation was introduced by Sens. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX).  

The legislation encourages persons with disabilities to save in order to live an independent and meaningful life while reducing their dependency on public benefits.  This legislation allows for the establishment of tax-exempt financial security accounts for individuals with disabilities to pay certain expenses, including: medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, housing and transportation.  

I hope you will consider co-sponsoring this important legislation for the Down syndrome community.

To see if your Senator has co-sponsored this legislation, go to http://thomas.loc.gov., key in S. 313 under bill number and click “co-sponsors”.

To see if your House member has co-sponsored the legislation, go to http://thomas.loc.gov., key in H.R. 647 under bill number and click “co-sponsors”.

To find out the name of your Senator or House of Representative member, go to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members

You may also call your member and speak to a staff person who handles disability-related issues.The number at the U.S. Capitol is (202) 224-3121.  Ask for the office of the Member you wish to speak to.