Bill To Support Disabled Individuals Laudable

May 19, 2015

State Representative Mary Mushinsky (D-Wallingford), ranking member of the Legislature’s Program Review and Investigations Committee (PRI), lauded passage of a measure that will support caregiving individuals and families by allowing tax free savings for their housing and education needs without losing disability benefits.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE), HB 6738, is one of the key recommendations of an investigative study, Transitional Services for Youth and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, conducted by the PRI Committee in 2014.

Hundreds of parents and care coordinators were interviewed to determine what barriers existed for young adults over 21 and past school age. The study included reviews on education, vocational training and support, medical and behavioral health, socialization and other needs which are paid for by a variety of federal, state, private and family resources.

“The aim of this legislation is to help families support a family member with a disability, such as autism, without the fear of losing assistance,” Rep. Mushinsky said. “This way, disabled people may be supported without shifting additional burdens onto caregivers they may not be able to meet.”

HB 6738 requires the state treasurer to establish a qualified ABLE program, as permitted by federal law, to administer individual accounts to receive and hold funds intended for qualifying disability expenses and exempt the money in the trust from state and local taxation as well as federal taxation while in the trust.

“I am pleased my colleagues in the House supported the bill and look forward to like support in the Senate,” Rep. Mushinsky added. “We must do all we can to help individuals willing and able to care for their disabled loved ones.”

Rep. Mary Mushinsky is the longest serving member of the House of Representatives in the CT General Assembly. She is Ranking Member of the Program Review and Investigations Committee, and a member of the Environment and Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committees.