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State Treasurer Pellicciotti Wants More People with Disabilities to Have Financial Security


State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti called on Congress today to allow more people with disabilities to set up tax-advantaged savings programs.

“I want more people with disabilities in our state to benefit from those programs that can serve their long-term financial needs,” said Pellicciotti.

As State Treasurer, Pellicciotti serves as the elected official on Washington’s Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program’s governing board, which is managed by the State Department of Commerce to provide tax-advantaged savings programs for eligible people with disabilities. Federal law currently limits access to the ABLE program only to those Washingtonians who became disabled by age 26. The ABLE program allows participants to save up to $15,000 per year tax-free for the future, while still receiving their SSI benefits today for education, job training, assistive technology and services, and transportation.

In letters sent to the Washington congressional delegation today, Pellicciotti urged that those representing the state in the House and Senate support the ABLE Age Adjustment Act, which would expand the age that a person must have a disability from 26 to 46 years old, allowing over 6 million more Americans to start saving money through the ABLE program.

“Too many disabled Washingtonians, including veterans and others disabled later in life, cannot receive federal tax advantages to their savings plans, simply because they became disabled after they turned 26 years old,” said Pellicciotti. “It is not right that many who fought for years to establish this program are unable themselves to receive the benefits of the program based on age restrictions,” said Pellicciotti.

By expanding the age cap for ABLE accounts, The National Disability Institute projects that nationally over 6 million more people living with a disability will have access to this entitlement and an opportunity for financial security, improving their quality of life.

Washington state’s ABLE program was authorized by the legislature in 2016, allowing the Washington State ABLE program to open in 2018.