CommitteepicturersSPRINGFIELD- Illinois families worried about the financial security of loved ones suffering from disabilities could soon have another resource to promote their independence.  

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced Senate Bill 1383, which creates a tax exempt plan to assist individuals and families in saving money to cover the expenses for people with disabilities.

“We all want our loved ones to be able to live their lives with respect and dignity. This legislation allows families to provide a stable future by paying for basic expenses,” said Bennett. “Without resources like this, many people with disabilities are unable to have the opportunity to be financially independent.”

The initiative creates the Illinois Achieving Better Life Expectancy Act (ABLE Act), which creates accounts similar to tax-advantaged college saving plans where income earned in the account is not taxable. This legislation comes after the Federal Government passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 with bipartisan support. States are required to pass enacting legislation to establish ABLE accounts.

The Treasurer’s office would be responsible to create ABLE accounts in accordance with federal rules and regulations.

“We want to provide financial resources to help ensure families can afford to take care of their loved ones,” said Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs. “By creating ABLE accounts, we can offer a tax-advantage to help establish the financial security necessary for those family members who need it the most.”

The accounts can be used to pay for qualifying expenses such as education, health, housing and transportation costs.

SB 1383 passed the Senate’s committee on State Government and Veterans Affairs and now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

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