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 [...]
By Jane Skelton, Esq. Long-term care is expensive, and an older individual may consider Medicaid to pay for that care. If the individual has a family member or friend with a disability, a sole benefit trust could be considered. If drafted correctly, transfers of the individual’s assets to a sole benefit trust would hasten Medicaid [...]
By Christopher W. Smith, Esq. When a special needs trust (SNT) is being set up, families are typically most concerned about government benefit programs like Medicaid and Social Security. But how might an SNT impact an individual's ability to receive federal financial aid for college? The answer is surprisingly gray. Let's first state the obvious. [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
Distributions from Special Needs Trusts: In Kind Distributions, Credit Cards, Gift Cards, or Debit Cards
You are the trustee of a special needs trust. Your beneficiary (Beth) lives in public housing, receives SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and MA (Medical Assistance), and has just asked you for a $200 gift card to Target so that she can buy headphones, clothes, toiletries, and some food. Remember, a special needs trust (SNT) is [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]