New ABLE savings program increases independence for people with disabilities, advocates say

A long-standing barrier to Pennsylvania residents with disabilities fell this week with the start of Achieving a Better Life Experience, a program that lets them save up to $14,000 a year while receiving government benefits.

“It is a major game-changer,” said Maureen Westcott, executive director of The Arc of Lancaster County, a nonprofit that advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In the past, she said, any savings over $2,000 would jeopardize benefits for people like her daughter, who has an intellectual disability.

But now that she has an ABLE account, 31-year-old Lititz resident Elise Westcott can put money aside for qualified expenses that range from education to transportation to funeral expenses.

It can also be used for assistive technology, like the iPhone she uses for its text-to-speech capabilities, which was not covered by her benefits.

(Read the entire article on Lancaster Newspapers)