Bureau of Autism Services
discountinues the Family & Individual Mini-Grant
The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), Bureau of Autism Services (BAS) announces the discontinuation of the Family & Individual Mini-Grant Program. Designed as a short-term project, last year was the final year that we were able to offer the mini-grants.
For eight years we have been able to offer this program, providing resources to individuals and families unable to access existing support systems for various reasons, such as eligibility criteria, age, or waiting lists. We did so with the understanding that it would not be something we could sustain permanently since needs are great and funding is limited.
From 2007-2014, we were honored to provide $6,747,840.53 in grants (up to $500 each) to 14,980 families and individuals with autism throughout the Commonwealth. We are proud of the impact these small grants have had in the lives of so many young people and their families.
With an estimated 36,000 adults with autism in Pennsylvania by 2020, our challenge will be to continue to build capacity to meet the complex needs of these adults, while also assisting their families and the providers who work with them.
- Bureau of Autism Services Staff
Achieving a Better Life Experience - new law
President Barack Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act Friday before leaving Washington for the holidays.
The new law will allow people with disabilities to open special accounts where they can save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Social Security and other government programs. What’s more, individuals can keep their Medicaid coverage no matter how much money is accrued in an ABLE account.
Modeled after 529 college savings plans, interest earned on savings will be tax-free. Funds accrued in the accounts can be used to pay for education, health care, transportation, housing and other expenses.
To be eligible, individuals must have a condition that occurred before age 26 and each person may only open one ABLE account. Under current gift-tax limitations, as much as $14,000 could be deposited annually.
People with disabilities may be able to start opening ABLE accounts as soon as 2015. However, some hurdles remain. While the new law alters federal rules to allow for ABLE accounts, each state must now put regulations in place — much as they have done for other types of 529 plans — so that financial institutions can make the new offering available.
“We can’t mandate that a state will create a 529, but given the lobby that we’ve seen, I think by the end of next year, I think we’ll see this in every state,” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., one of the measure’s chief sponsors, said on a recent call with reporters.
The law’s name was amended in recent weeks to honor Stephen Beck, Jr., a longtime proponent of the bill who died unexpectedly in early December.
Copyright © 2014 Disability Scoop, LLC. All Rights Reserved
MANAGE YOUR ACCOUNT WITH US and REGISTER FOR EVENTS
Update your contact information, register for events, make donations, view donation history...all with one log-in! PLEASE NOTE: households ONLY need 1 log-in. Family members will be set up under 1 household. If your family members are not listed under your household, please email: email@example.com and we will get it corrected.