Senator Baker E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Tax-Free Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities
  • State Grants Available for Children’s Advocacy Centers
  • Scam Threatens Suspension of Health License
  • Shared Ride Services Available to the Public
  • Remembering the Sept. 11, 2001 Attacks
  • Damaged License Plate Replacement Event

Tax-Free Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities

Tax-free savings accounts to help people with disabilities save money for disability-related expenses are available through the Pennsylvania Treasury. PA ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts are structured similar to tuition savings accounts.

Family members and friends can contribute up to $17,000 per year; PA ABLE account owners who earn income may contribute additional funds beyond the annual contribution limit. Once the maximum account limit of $511,758 is reached, accounts continue to earn interest.

Withdrawals from the account will be exempt from both state and federal income taxes as long as the funds are used for qualified disability expenses. These include education, housing, transportation, employment support, health prevention and assistive technology. Learn more here.

ABLE has been making a huge difference in the lives of people with disabilities for six years. Here in Pennsylvania, we have experienced tremendous success, with more than $87 million in assets put aside by nearly 8,000 individuals saving for their futures by opening PA ABLE accounts. I am proud to have worked to implement the program and encouraged by the actions taken to grow it so millions of additional people who become disabled further into their adulthood can benefit, including our veterans, victims of vehicle accidents, and others experiencing a serious trauma.

State Grants Available for Children’s Advocacy Centers

Help is available to children’s advocacy centers (CACs) for their crucial mission coordinating the investigation, treatment and prosecution of child abuse cases.

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency says the funds can be used to help CACs expand, improve or continue the services provided to victims of child sexual abuse and child abuse. Applications and information are listed here under “2023 NCA Member Child Advocacy Centers.”

The Senate Aging and Youth Committee held a hearing last month to gather information about the needs of CACs and the critical roles they play across Pennsylvania.

Scam Threatens Suspension of Health License

Scammers pretending to be from the Pennsylvania Department of State’s health-related licensing boards are calling active and inactive licensees, claiming their licenses are suspended due to allegations of criminal activity. To trick people, the scammers spoof the state board’s phone number and name on caller ID.

Someone who actually represents the state board will not contact you by phone to request a credit card payment, wire transfer or money order. They will never request any payment be made using gift card or that it be wired to a foreign country.

If you receive one of these calls, please hang up and report it to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Shared Ride Services Available to the Public

People who do not drive can get where they need to go using shared ride services. Riders can travel to work, medical providers, grocery stores, shopping centers and more when fixed route services cannot meet their needs.

While shared ride services are open to the public, riders must register in advance to use them. Each shared ride provider has its own fare structure. Various programs allow seniors, persons with disabilities and low-income individuals to access shared ride service at a reduced out-of-pocket cost or even for free.

Find more information and the shared ride service provider near you here.

Remembering the Sept. 11, 2001 Attacks

Monday marks the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on our country, including one that resulted in a plane crash in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. It is with a heavy heart that we remember the devastating attacks and wish peace for the families who lost a loved one.

We also recognize the incredible heroes, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as they cared for the innocent victims. Emergency responders and military personnel deserve our deep gratitude.

Damaged License Plate Replacement Event

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