Author: Joy Cox, Qualified Developmental Disabilities Professional and Work Incentives Practitioner with The Arc of Madison County, Alabama

The American Dream has been sold to millions of people. We’ve raised our children to believe they could be anything, do anything, and have anything if they work hard for it. We’ve promised generation after generation the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That right was so important; it was the first one our founding fathers promised to citizens of a newly minted United States of America. This right is guaranteed to all citizens regardless of disability; however, the current support system in effect for individuals with disabilities is designed in such a way that it keeps benefit recipients in poverty and dependent on others for care and support.

An ABLE account will allow these beneficiaries to become more independent in their financial management and raise themselves out of poverty. There is a certain freedom and confidence that accompanies being able to plan and save for the future which is denied to individuals with disabilities due to income and resource limits imposed by benefit programs. Currently, SSI and Medicaid have a monthly resource limit of $2,000 that hasn’t been increased in over 30 years, but with ABLE a person can save an additional $100,000 without penalty. Individuals with disabilities can now direct their own future and pursue their American Dream.