Loud and Clear: A Special Needs Conversation

Retirement Funds and SNTs

Watch Out for the Details By Andrew H. Hook, CELA Retirement accounts are often among a family’s largest assets, so you may have thought about leaving a portion to your son or daughter with disabilities. But if they will ever need means-tested benefits, your good intentions could disqualify them for important programs such as Medicaid […]

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Posted: January 4th, 2017 | 1 Comment »

New Rule Would Ban Required Arbitration in Nursing Home Disputes

By Shirley B. Whitenack, Esq. New regulations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), scheduled to become effective November 28, 2016, prohibit federally funded nursing homes from requiring applicants to agree to binding arbitration in the event of future disputes. The regulations, however, are currently on hold due to an injunction entered by […]

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Posted: November 10th, 2016 | No Comments »

ABLE Implementation: Fall 2016 Update

By Taylor Woodard MPAff & MSSW, Program Associate, The Arc There have been numerous developments in ABLE programs since the enactment of the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014. With this piece of legislation, lawmakers made it possible for some individuals with disabilities with onset prior to age 26 […]

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Posted: October 24th, 2016 | 2 Comments »

Expanding ABLE: Three Bills to Improve the ABLE Program

By Taylor Woodard MPAff & MSSW, Program Associate, The Arc The Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act authorizes tax-advantaged savings accounts for some people with disabilities and their families. Modeled after the existing qualified tuition (529) accounts, these accounts allow for more individual choice and control over spending, while protecting eligibility […]

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Posted: October 18th, 2016 | No Comments »

When Should You Consider a Pooled Trust?

By Janet L. Lowder, CELA, and Elena Lidrbauch, CELA Directly receiving a personal injury settlement, inheritance or other sizable sum of money can derail the finances of someone with disabilities. That’s because having more than $2,000 in resources makes them ineligible for means-tested government programs such as Medicaid and SSI (Supplemental Security Income), which may […]

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Posted: September 27th, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Coaches Can Help Job-Seekers with Disabilities

By Katherine N. Barr, Esq. Only 17.8 percent of U.S. working age individuals with disabilities have jobs. For adults who have autism, a developmental disability that has skyrocketed in prevalence, the unemployment rate is 80% (The Economist, April 2016). On average, those with jobs only worked part-time and faced large pay gaps compared to the […]

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Posted: August 2nd, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Adopting a Child with Special Needs

By Jennifer L. Lile, CELA There are up to 134,000 children with “special needs” awaiting permanent homes, according to the National Adoption Center, and the demand is growing. In the context of foster care and child welfare, “special needs” refers not only to a child who has disabilities, but to children whose risk factors for […]

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Posted: July 25th, 2016 | No Comments »

Roundup: Subsidized Housing/Nursing Home Contracts/Alzheimer’s

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with the wide-ranging issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of posts from member blogs and newsletters. SNTs and Section 8 Housing A recent court decision has implications for special needs trust beneficiaries who seek subsidized housing. Read more. Nursing Home […]

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Posted: July 6th, 2016 | No Comments »

I Just Want to Raise My Child:

Discrimination Against Parents with Disabilities By Robert L. McClelland, CELA The National Center on Parents with Disabilities estimates that at least 4.1 million Americans with children under 18 (6.2 percent) have disabilities of their own. Every day, in countless ways, those moms and dads battle deep-rooted stereotypes as they take on that toughest of jobs […]

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Posted: June 1st, 2016 | 2 Comments »

Tips for Negotiating the Best IEP

By Linda M. Gorczynski, Esq. For many families, negotiating for their child’s special ed services is highly stressful. So much depends on a young student’s getting the tools to prepare for adulthood. By law, every child with disabilities is entitled to a “free and appropriate” public education (FAPE), but coming to agreement on exactly what […]

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Posted: May 19th, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Roundup: Family Case Study/Modified Curriculums/Paying Home Care Workers

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with the wide-ranging issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of posts from member blogs and newsletters. Family Case Study Planning for the long-term needs of a loved one with disabilities is a big job. Check out this case study about […]

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Posted: May 3rd, 2016 | No Comments »

Bipartisan Policy Center Recommends Long-Term Care Innovations

By Robert F. Brogan, CELA It was in late 2013 that the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), led by former Senators Tom Daschle (D) and Bill Frist (R), began studying the financing and delivery of long-term care. It took only a few months for them to assess the problem’s scope. Long-term care is costly in the […]

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Posted: April 13th, 2016 | No Comments »

Vote!

By The Arc “Vote as if your life depends on it,” Justin Dart, Jr., the disability rights pioneer often known as the father of the Americans with Disabilities Act, implored us, “Because it does.” Our core values call us to focus on voting during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in this critical election year.  The Arc’s […]

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Posted: April 1st, 2016 | No Comments »

Choosing Summer Camp for Kids with Disabilities

By Mary L. Waltari, Esq. The summer camp experience can benefit a child with special needs and parents alike, but they’re likely to feel anxious ahead of time. For kids, it’s fear of the unfamiliar. For parents, it’s worries about having someone who doesn’t really know their child suddenly take charge. But if properly researched, […]

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Posted: March 3rd, 2016 | 2 Comments »

Roundup: When You Suspect a Disability/Guardianship Mediation/Nursing Home Discharges

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with the wide-ranging issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of posts from member blogs and newsletters. When You Suspect Your Child May Have a Disability… It can be overwhelming to realize that your child may have a disability. Read tips […]

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Posted: February 24th, 2016 | No Comments »

Katie Beckett Waiver Brings Home Care to Kids with Serious Disabilities

By Tara Anne Pleat, Esq. In many states, the Medicaid program can generally be seen as having a strong institutional bias when it comes to coverage of long-term care, forcing many families to place loved ones in skilled care facilities or similar institutional settings, despite longstanding efforts to serve individuals with disabilities in mainstream settings. […]

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Posted: February 17th, 2016 | 6 Comments »

Long Waiting Lists for Community Services Deny ADA Rights

By Jason A. Frank, CELA and Jenna L. Snyder Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Supreme Court’s related Olmstead decision support an individual’s right to receive long-term care in the least restrictive manner possible. Yet when families ask if Medicaid can help them pay for home and community-based services (HCBS), the answer […]

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Posted: January 12th, 2016 | No Comments »

Celebrating the Holidays When a Child Has Special Needs

By Jo-Anne Herina Jeffreys, CELA Holiday crowds, twinkling lights and unfamiliar scents can confuse and even frighten a child with disabilities. The season’s disruptions can be particularly painful for those who don’t handle change well. But with a little planning, you can contain the stress. Prepare Your Child Preparing your child in advance by revisiting […]

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Posted: December 1st, 2015 | No Comments »

Implementing the ABLE Act

By John Ariale, Esq., Guest Blogger One year ago, the chances for passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act seemed bleak. However, for those of us advocating for its passage, our lame duck strategy worked, and the ABLE Act was signed into law on December 19, 2014. The intent behind ABLE was […]

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Posted: November 6th, 2015 | No Comments »

Roundup: Special Needs Trusts/Vets with Disabilities/Medicare

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with the wide-ranging issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of posts from member blogs and newsletters. Mother’s Gifts to Children Create Dispute over Special Needs Daughter When planning for the longtime financial security of a child with disabilities, it’s best […]

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Posted: October 16th, 2015 | No Comments »