Critical Issues Forum: CalABLE & Ever Widening Circle

Event Description

On Friday, October 28, 2016, the World Institute on Disability held its Critical Issues Forum on the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley. This forum was the second WID event this year to focus on Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts. These new tax-advantaged savings accounts allow people with disabilities to save up to $100,000 in their ABLE accounts without losing their public benefits, a significant increase to the current $2,000 asset limit without an account.

This forum supplemented information covered at the first forum on ABLE, which was held on July 8, and it also served as a town hall, in which Christina Elliot, Executive Director of the California ABLE Board, and Joe Xavier, Executive Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation, gathered feedback from the disability community about how to improve ABLE accounts. Additionally, Thomas Foley, WID’s Deputy Director, presented in-depth on account eligibility requirements like age of disability onset and qualifying expenses like healthcare, education, and housing. His presentation was followed by an interactive session led by Alex Ghenis, WID’s Policy and Research Specialist, in which the step-by-step process of applying for an ABLE account was demonstrated and explained for the audience. After the informational portion of the day, people gathered for the Ever Widening Circle (EWC) reception to enjoy wine and cheese and coffee and mini-cupcakes.

WID looks forward to holding future Critical Issues Forums in order to inform and hear from the disability community.

Seminar Materials

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