Level playingfield for the disabled

Federal law prohibits individuals with disabilities from owning more than $2,000 in assets at any given time or they lose their benefits. Retirement savings, homes, cars, and other basic items needed for everyday life are effectively off-limits. This prevents individuals with disabilities from building independent lives, creating a model of perpetual dependence on federal assistance, which is unfair to all Americans.

There is a bipartisan bill before Congress that allows people with disabilities to save for their future education, housing, transportation, and job training expenses, creating incentives to employment. The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) has earned the support of over 50 percent of the US House of Representatives and 30 percent of the Senate. This legislation will allow for more independent living for members of the disability community and will not cost taxpayers anything.

As the parent of a child with Down syndrome, I believe individuals with disabilities deserve to save for their future just like every other American, and the ABLE Act does just that. Washington Representatives Larsen, McDermott, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert, and Herrera Butler have already cosponsored this important legislation; I ask Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to cosponsor the ABLE Act as well.

Amy Patterson

Lake Stevens