Financial Opportunity for Those with Developmental Disabilities -BYLN- by Janice Youngwith

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 18, 2015 | Go to article overview

Financial Opportunity for Those with Developmental Disabilities -BYLN- by Janice Youngwith


The growing numbers of children and adults living with autism has been called "astronomical" and the impact for families and society "epidemic" as parents of scores of babies of born today can expect to learn of an autism spectrum diagnosis.

Known as autism spectrum disorders, the developmental disability currently impacts more than 52,000 Illinoisans and places a huge financial burden on families and society. In June 2014 researchers estimate the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism is as great as $5 million.

"In early December, the 113th Congress took a major step forward in helping Americans with disabilities and their loved ones shoulder the tremendous cost of disability care," says congressman Peter Roskam, U.S. Representative for Illinois's 6th congressional district, in reporting House and Senate passage of new legislation known as Achieving A Better Life Experience Act of 2014 or the ABLE Act of 2014.

The legislation, which President Barack Obama signed into law on Dec. 21, helps individuals and families save private funds for the purpose of supporting those with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life.

"The bipartisan legislation will help individuals and their families save for the future and will enable them to access critical financial planning tools, including tax-free savings accounts," states Roskam, a Wheaton resident and House member since 2007. "We must empower all Americans with opportunities and resources to live their dreams and aspirations."

The legislation paves the way to providing secure funding for disability-related expenses of beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not take the place of, benefits provided through private insurance, title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) and title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources. …

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