By Matt Rivers
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Twenty-eight-year old Jackie Csaniz is a happy, loving young woman.
She has Down syndrome, but is independent and leads a full life. She goes to ballgames, hangs with friends and occasionally sips her favorite beer.
But ensuring her life stays full constantly worries her Mom, Carol. She knows she won’t be around forever and like any mom, wants to make sure her daughter is taken care of if something happens.
Carol Csaniz says, “Right now she doesn’t need any immediate care, but we don’t know what the future holds.
A new bill in congress hopes to give her some peace of mind. It’s called the Able Act, introduced by Senator Bob Casey. It’s designed to help families of children with disabilities save money for long-term care.
Senator Casey says,”To have the same ability to save in a tax-free manner as we do for education or retirement.”
This plan is similar to the savings plan students at Temple have. It’s called a 529, a tax free account that can only be used for certain purposes. For students, it’s college. For those with disabilities, it is things like healthcare, transportation, housing and education.
As it stands now, families can only save a small amount of money. The state will actually cut off its aid if families save too much. So for Carol and thousands of other parents in her situation, the new legislation could mean a lot.
“A possibility that you can leave something for your child with a disability just like you can leave something for your other children is a good feeling.”