One of the best-kept secrets when it comes to guardianship and end-of-life decisions is the MOLST and the OPWDD checklist. I was recently sucked into the MOLST black hole when I attempted to implement end-of-life decisions for my brother, Scott. As his legal guardian,...
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...
New York State is going through a difficult economic period which has resulted in significant budget cuts and reduced services to the developmentally and intellectually disabled (DD/I) population. This is not limited to New York. All states are experiencing the effects of reduced government...
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...
How can you be guaranteed to make a small fortune? Answer: Start with a large fortune and then invest poorly. Fortunately, life insurance does the opposite. You can take a relatively small amount of money and convert it into a larger pool of...
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...
I have completed many 17-A guardianship petitions for clients over the past 6 years. Some parents, however, choose to complete the petition themselves. For those of you who wish to take this path, I have compiled a list of 12 helpful tips that I...
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...
Many parents think that all special needs trusts (SNTs) or supplemental needs trusts can be invaded by Medicaid after their disabled child dies. Let me try and clarify. A first-party special needs trust (payback trust) is funded by your child’s money, has a payback...
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. ...
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...
What can you do if your special needs child has too much money in his or her name to qualify for SSI and Medicaid? Last week, we talked about spending the money down. Let’s now take a look at other alternatives. My special needs...
Government programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid are needs based. This means that an individual must have limited resources and satisfy certain other requirements. SSI provides a maximum monthly cash benefit for a disabled individual living alone of $808 in 2014....
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...
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...
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...
Many parents ask if their special needs child should have a Section 529 plan or some other type of college savings plan. Other parents have already opened a college plan for their child. Since Social Security has recently clarified their position regarding 529 plans,...
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...
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...
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...
How important are trends in Special Needs Planning? They are everything. Why? Take the 1115 People First Waiver that is about to be implemented in New York. Have you taken the time to think about how your child will be affected? Is he or...