Disabled Military Child Protection Act Policy Issued

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Kelly A. Thompson, Esq.. Kelly has been a lawyer for 37 years, practicing law in Arlington, Virginia for the last 21 years. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and a frequent lecturer on special needs planning. Her clients include many military families and she was active in lobbying for passage of the Disabled Military Child Protection Act. Her practice focuses on planning for individuals with disabilities and the elderly, special needs trusts, trust administration and estate planning.

2022-03-08T12:16:15-05:00

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 [...]

2021-09-29T10:39:41-04:00

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 [...]

2021-01-11T10:56:38-05:00

Special Needs and the Affordable Care Act

Shirley B. Whitenack, Esq. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed nearly six years ago and its insurance exchanges are over two years old. How have individuals with disabilities fared under the new system, which is meant to make health coverage universally available? Improvements are undeniable, but gaps remain. While there are more options, making [...]

2021-01-11T10:55:03-05:00

Long Waiting Lists for Community Services Deny ADA Rights

By Jason 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 is [...]

2021-09-29T10:22:11-04:00

A Delicate Balance – How Working Affects Public Benefits

By Jefferey Yussman, Esq. Employment is an important road to independence and self-esteem. But some individuals with disabilities worry that accepting a job offer will disqualify them for means-tested benefits, such as SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Income). Since such programs may be the bedrock of their financial security, what happens [...]

2021-01-14T16:39:03-05:00

Representative Payee for Social Security Benefits

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Martha C. Brown, CELA, a Special Needs Alliance member in St. Louis, Missouri. Martha Martha Brownlimits her practice to elder law and special needs law. A Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a Certified Elder Law Attorney, Martha has been designated a Super Lawyer for the last six years. Through her numerous community presentations and continuing legal education presentations, Martha helps attorneys and the public understand and address legal issues concerning the elderly and people with disabilities. Currently Martha is participating in the statewide task force to rewrite the guardianship code in Missouri.

2022-05-18T11:16:56-04:00

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 [...]

2021-07-20T16:06:55-04:00

Ignoring Medicare Set-Asides Puts Coverage at Risk

By Pi-Yi G. Mayo, CELA & Bryn Poland, Esq. When a personal injury suit is being settled, one often overlooked step is the creation of a "Medicare Set-Aside (MSA)," money earmarked for future injury-related costs that would otherwise be covered by Medicare. The confusion arises because CMS (The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has [...]

2021-01-11T10:48:47-05:00

Disabled Military Child Protection Act

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Kelly A. Thompson, Esq.. Kelly has been a lawyer for 36 years, practicing law in Arlington, Virginia for the last 20 years. Her clients include many military families, and her practice focuses on planning for individuals with disabilities and the elderly, special needs trusts, trust administration and estate planning.

2022-05-20T09:44:49-04:00

Medicare Observation Status: Denying Medicare Coverage for Skilled Nursing Home Care

There is an increasing trend to admit Medicare beneficiaries for "observation" as outpatients rather than admitting them as regular hospital patients. This practice may prevent patients from obtaining proper inpatient and post-hospital care under Medicare. Since many individuals with disabilities depend on Medicare as their primary health insurance coverage, this practice can have a serious [...]

2022-03-15T10:55:47-04:00

The ABLE Act – A New Tool for Special Needs Planning

If you want to set aside money for the education of a child (or a grandchild, or anyone else), you can choose from a variety of options. One popular choice is to establish a "529 Plan" fund. These education accounts are named after the tax code section authorizing their use, and they make it easy [...]

2022-03-15T10:57:07-04:00

Understanding the Role of Representative Payee

By Neal A. Winston, CELA According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), over seven million individuals currently require assistance with their monthly SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or Social Security Retirement, Survivors and Dependents Insurance (RSDI) benefits. For that reason, SSA has the Representative Payee Program, through which it authorizes family members, friends, government agencies, and [...]

2021-01-11T10:41:29-05:00

Crossing State Lines

Special Needs Planning for Moving to a New State By Wendy H. Sheinberg, CELA No one enjoys moving; it's hard work and involves lots of detail (not to mention all of those boxes). Managing the transition for someone with special needs can be difficult; it's wise to begin planning as soon as you begin seriously [...]

2021-09-29T11:35:15-04:00

When Good Fortune Means Upheaval: Careful Spend Downs Can Preserve Vital Benefits

By Carol S. Battaglia, Esq. Medicaid and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) often provide the bedrock of economic security for individuals with disabilities. But these needs-based programs require that recipients have no more than $2,000 in "countable resources-$3,000 for a married couple - meaning that receiving an inheritance, personal injury settlement or other lump sum can [...]

2021-01-11T10:40:18-05:00

Government Benefits as a Foundation for Special Needs Planning

By Barbara Isenhour, Esq. Navigating the acronym-ridden maze of government benefits is tough and misconceptions abound. Families may be unaware of the full range of options available to individuals with I/DD, or they may be confused about eligibility, assuming that they have too much income to consider means-based programs. Most individuals with I/DD can benefit [...]

2021-01-18T10:58:14-05:00

How to Assess Future Life Needs for a Loved One with a Disability

By Joanne Marcus, MSW, Executive Director, Commonwealth Community Trust The first months, or even years, after receiving the diagnosis are filled with unexpected questions and challenges when you have a loved one with special needs. “Here-and-now” needs like healthcare, therapy, education and other immediate needs can quickly take priority over future planning, which is understandable. [...]

2021-01-11T10:37:53-05:00

SSDI Is Often a Lifeline

By Rebecca L. Berg, CELA Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program offering monthly cash payments and eventual Medicare coverage to individuals with long-term disabilities that prevent them from holding down a job. While it's a vital lifeline to many, it's often misunderstood. The Census Bureau reports that roughly one in 10 Americans [...]

2021-01-22T15:57:56-05:00

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