About Bryan Hales

Goodman Ray is an attorney with the law firm of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., who has more than four decades of legal experience. He serves clients in the areas of workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits as well as significant personal injury cases. Smith is licensed to practice in all South Carolina state and federal courts as well as the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court.

Guardianship Should Be a Last Resort


This post was written by former Special Needs Alliance president Katherine N. Barr, Esq., a member of Sirote & Permutt’s Private Clients, Trusts and Estates Practice Group, Birmingham, Alabama.  Much of her practice involves special needs planning, through which she assists clients in providing for a family member in a way that does not jeopardize government benefits.  She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and has been cited in The Best Lawyers in America©.

Guardianship Should Be a Last Resort2019-10-29T13:40:48+00:00

Full Funding of the IDEA Critical for Our Children


By Linda M. Gorczynski, Esq. It's critical that we get increased funding for special education services in order to meet the needs of students with disabilities and achieve compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Attempts have been made to make legislative changes for years, but it hasn't happened. We all need to [...]

Full Funding of the IDEA Critical for Our Children2019-10-29T13:44:37+00:00

Financial Abuse of Individuals with Disabilities


This installment of The Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Elizabeth L. Gray, CELA, a principal with the firm of McCandlish Lillard, with offices in Fairfax and Leesburg, Virginia. She has practiced special needs and elder law for over 20 years and has been listed in Best Lawyers of America annually since 2012. She also sits on the board of directors of Brain Injury Services.

Financial Abuse of Individuals with Disabilities2019-10-29T13:51:41+00:00

Letter of Intent Gives Valuable Advice to Future Caregivers


By Glynis A. Ritchie, Esq. Parents of children with special needs have lots on their plates. When it comes to estate planning, the tasks at hand can be complicated, and the choices parents have to make – how to provide for their child’s needs when they are not around and whom to name as fiduciaries [...]

Letter of Intent Gives Valuable Advice to Future Caregivers2019-10-29T13:56:11+00:00

Tax Law Changes for Those with Disabilities


This edition of the Voice was written by SNA member, Robert B. Fleming. Robert is a partner in the Tucson, Arizona law firm of Fleming & Curti, PLC. He is a long-time member of the Special Needs Alliance and frequently speaks on special needs issues to lawyers and family members all over the country. You can subscribe to his newsletter and podcast at

Tax Law Changes for Those with Disabilities2019-10-29T13:59:31+00:00

How In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) Affects Benefits


By Martha C. Brown, CELA Special needs trusts (SNTs) are established to supplement the benefits that individuals with disabilities receive from government programs, such as Medicaid and SSI (Supplemental Security Income). They protect funds intended to enhance quality of life without rendering the beneficiary ineligible for means-tested benefits. Since SSI is meant to cover food [...]

How In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) Affects Benefits2019-10-29T14:03:54+00:00

Looking Ahead: Transition Planning for Life After School


By Sage C. Hart, Esq. High school graduation is a milestone for any student, but when a young adult has disabilities, it ushers in a period of even greater change. While attending public school, students with special needs are legally entitled to a wide array of services, but once they leave (by the age of [...]

Looking Ahead: Transition Planning for Life After School2019-10-29T14:10:08+00:00