- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A bill that may allow adults with intellectual disabilities to place as much as $100,000 into special saving accounts is being considered in Nebraska.

The Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/1yRPSsr ) reports that saving accounts for most intellectually disabled adults are not allowed to exceed $2,000 because of the benefits they receive from the government, including health coverage through Medicaid. The bill would allow up to $100,000 in savings to use for qualified expenses without counting against the $2,000 limit.

If the amount is exceeded, then benefits could disappear.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act was passed by Congress last year, allowing states to set up their own ABLE account system so that family members of adults with intellectual disabilities could deposit up to $14,000 in funds.

“Where it’s going to be ideal is where you have an individual who earns some money and has a real strong drive to be independent,” said David Rowe, a Lincoln attorney who specializes in estate planning for families of disabled people. “There’s a sense of self dignity… that I think is an important value that will be served by the ABLE account.”

The mother of Spencer Mitchell, a working adult with intellectual disabilities, says her son is fixated on the $2,000 limit.

“He gets really hung up on this $2,000” his mother said. “He obsesses and obsesses and obsesses, because he’s really worried he’s going to lose his services.”

The Nebraska bill advanced from a legislative committee last month, and is likely to be debated this year.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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