Congress widens federal help for the disabled

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress has given final approval to the most sweeping legislation to help the disabled in a quarter century. The bill would allow Americans with disabilities to open tax-free bank accounts to pay for needs such as education, housing and health care.

The Democratic-led Senate passed the measure Tuesday evening after it was attached to a bill extending dozens of tax breaks for individuals and businesses. Earlier this month, the GOP-controlled House overwhelmingly approved the measure.

The bill now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The measure affects as many as 54 million disabled people and their families.

Modeled after tax-free college savings accounts, the bill would amend the federal tax code to allow states to establish the program beginning next year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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