07
Jun 2016

APPLYING FOR SSI/MEDICAID FOR MY SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD

Approximately 66% of disability claims are being denied at the initial claims level.  Considering the importance of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid to a special needs child and the new pilot program governing the appeals process in New York, some parents may want...

01
Mar 2016

HOPE

“Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so indispensable, none so powerful, as hope.  Without hope people are only half alive.  With hope they dream and think and work.” –Charles Sawyer Does special needs planning diminish hope?  Does it...

09
Feb 2016

WHAT IS SECOND-TO-DIE INSURANCE?

  Second-to-Die Life insurance, sometimes known as Survivorship insurance, is a type of permanent life insurance which is frequently used to fund a special needs trust (SNT). Characteristics of Second-to-Die insurance: It is permanent life insurance. It can be either Whole Life or Universal...

06
Oct 2015

YOU ARE YOUR CHILD’S GREATEST ASSET!

In a different age and under vastly different circumstances, the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping once talked about crossing a raging river by “feeling the stones underfoot.” All of us— agencies serving the developmentally disabled, parents of children with special needs, and even the...

11
May 2015

CAN YOU AFFORD TO RETIRE TODAY?

Disability can be a real life changer.  I should know.  I’ve experienced it personally. I was 32 years old, single, had been the top producer for my company in a sales force of nearly a hundred.  I had just purchased my first home, was...

28
Apr 2015

THE ABLE ACT: THINK A SECOND TIME

Is the ABLE Act going to help you?  The answer is:  it depends. ABLE accounts certainly provide planners with an additional tool for their Special Needs Planning toolbox.  How easy will it be for parents to utilize ABLE accounts on their own?  For many...

30
Mar 2015

The Myth About Guardianship And SSI

Myth:  You need to have guardianship in order to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for your disabled child or to be the representative payee. Generally, you don’t need guardianship in order to apply and be awarded SSI benefits for your special needs child. ...

28
Jan 2015

Learning Book

The ABLE Act: Another Perspective

The ABLE Act, which will provide opportunities for disabled individuals to save money without adversely affecting government benefits, was signed by President Obama on December 19, 2014. The ABLE Act will benefit many families and disabled individuals. The Act has shortcomings, however, and is...

11
Jan 2015

Learning Apple

FAQs About Special Needs Trusts

Can I add money to my child’s Special Needs Trust? It depends on whose money it is and what type of Special Needs Trust (SNT) it is. If the trust is a first-party Special Needs Trust (or Payback Special Needs Trust) and the money...

28
Oct 2014

KIds Learning

Common Questions About Guardianship

As someone who assists parents with 17-A guardianship petitions, I receive many questions regarding various aspects of guardianship. Below are some of the more common questions along with answers as I understand them to be correct. The information provided is merely intended to guide...

15
Oct 2014

Future Care Planning

SSI vs. SSDI

What’s the difference between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)? SSI is a needs-based program which provides a monthly income. In order to be eligible, the individual’s resources and income cannot exceed certain limits. The resource limit is $2,000. The...

26
Sep 2014

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Parent Support Group Meeting

Attend our Special Needs Parent Connection Support Group meeting on Saturday, October 4th to learn how to advocate for your child’s healthcare. Arlene Reith will be speaking about how to educate and communicate with medical providers in a healthcare situation. Arlene Reith is a...

22
Oct 2013

Government Systems

COMMON QUESTIONS REGARDING 17-A GUARDIANSHIP

As someone who assists parents with 17-A guardianship petitions, I receive many questions regarding various aspects of guardianship.  Below are some of the more common questions along with answers as I understand them to be correct.  However, I am not an attorney.  The information...

19
Sep 2013

Professionals

BACK TO SCHOOL CHECKLIST

Summer’s over and it’s time to review where you are and determine what needs to be done to properly plan for your special needs child’s future. Here is a quick checklist to get you started.  Have you addressed the issue of guardianship? If your...

28
Aug 2013

Transition Planning

ATTORNEY CHECKLIST

In preparation for your meeting with your attorney, you may want to consider the following: _____Is your attorney well-versed in the area of special needs?  How many special needs trusts did he or she design during the previous year? _____If you plan to divide...

06
Feb 2013

Learning Apple

Is The Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

What will the next 40 years bring us?  The next 80 years?  Our tendency is to take a snapshot of our current situation and project that into the future, but if we think about it, that’s not how it really works. For instance, when...

31
Jan 2013

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Housing In The New World

What are your plans for your special needs child once he or she leaves the public school system at age 21? Were you thinking of getting a placement for your child in a group home? If so, you may want to reevaluate your options....

22
Jan 2013

Resources

When Your Child Ages Out

When your child ages out of the public school system at age 21, your child will enter the world of adult services. Examples of these services are group homes, independent living with support, rehabilitation day programs, residential habilitation programs, respite and a variety of...

10
Jan 2013

Families

GUARDIANSHIP: WHY, WHEN AND HOW?

  Did you know that once your child attains age 18, you no longer have the legal right to make medical and dental decisions for him or her?  The state of New York assumes that your child has the capability to make those decisions...

02
Apr 2012

Government Systems

Don’t Wait

Don’t wait until it’s too late to plan.  The last three weeks have served as a sad reminder as to how life can change in an instant.  One friend passed away unexpectedly leaving her autistic child behind.  She was in her mid-forties.  A plan,...