Lawmakers trying to increase participation in savings account for disabled people

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Lawmakers are trying to get more people signed up for La ABLE (Louisiana Achieving a Better Life Experience).

The program was started in 2017 after a bill by Rep. Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge, and Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, was passed. The account is tax free, and is meant for families with disabled children to invest in their child's education and medical costs for the long term.

"This gives parents with children with disabilities an opportunity to put money away for them," Foil said. "It treats parents with disabilities just like parents of any normal college child and gives them the same opportunities for their kids when they grow up."

Officials said 67 families have signed up, but they want to increase that number to the hundreds.

One person already benefiting from the account is Ashley Volion. She suffers from cerebral palsy, but is on her way to getting her PhD in disabled studies. Now 33, Volion wants to make sure she will be okay if her family is faced with a medical emergency.

"I have a better outlook for the future because I can sustain myself if something were to happen," Volion said.

Anyone who developed a disability before the age of 26 is eligible. The individual must have been living with their disability for at least a year or expect their disability to last for at least a year.

Click here to sign up

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