U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Hosts Field Hearing in Pittsburgh

federal government

PITTSBURG, PA — On Wednesday, August 17, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Bob Casey (D-PA) held a field hearing entitled Saving with ABLE: Financial Security for Pennsylvanians with Disabilities.” The hearing, held at the University of Pittsburgh, highlighted how Chairman Casey’s ABLE Act, passed into law in 2014, is helping hundreds of thousands of Americans with disabilities open ABLE Accounts and save money without risking loss of their federal disability benefits. Chairman Casey also discussed his bipartisan ABLE Age Adjustment Act, which would provide 6.2 million additional Americans, including more than one million veterans, the opportunity to open an ABLE account and save for the future by extending access to people who acquired their disability between 26 and 46 years of age.

Approximately 1 out of 4 adults in the U.S. has a disability. People with disabilities across the Nation have half the rate of workforce participation as the non-disabled population and are more than twice as likely to be living in poverty compared to the general population. There are almost 120,000 ABLE account holders in the United States— these accounts contain over $1.1 billion in assets for an average account size of nearly $9,300.

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“Today, I was honored to hear from three Pennsylvanians who are using their ABLE accounts to fulfill their dreams, as well as another who is unable to save with ABLE due to the age at which she acquired her disability,” said Chairman Casey. “In creating ABLE, we knocked down a barrier that people with disabilities face as they work to improve their lives. When we see a federal program working for Americans, we should do everything we can to ensure as many people as possible can benefit from it. That’s why I’ve introduced the bipartisan ABLE Age Adjustment Act to build on the success of the ABLE Act.”

Senator Casey’s ABLE Act, signed into law in 2014, makes it possible for people who acquired their disability before turning 26 to save money without risking loss of their federal disability benefits.

During the hearing, Chairman Casey heard from Brenda Dare, community advocate and artist; Colton Vazquez, Welcome Director at Open Up Pittsburgh; and Andrew Duch, advocate, on how saving with ABLE accounts have allowed them to save and fulfill their goals. Casey also heard from Carrie L. Bach, Director of MCO Operations and Business Intelligence at Voices for Independence, who advocated for the need to expand ABLE for people who acquire their disability after age 26. Senator Casey’s ABLE Age Adjustment Act would make it possible for allow Carrie Bach and people like her to open ABLE accounts and save.

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Read more about the ABLE Age Adjustment Act here.

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