How Work Can Affect Title II Disability Benefits Part II: Ticket to Work and Extension of Medicare and Medicaid Benefits

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Barbara Isenhour, Esq., of the firm of Isenhour Bleck, PLLC in Seattle, Washington. The firm focuses on government benefits for individuals with disabilities and estate planning for families with special needs children. A board member of NAMI Eastside in Redmond, Washington, and Full Life Care in Seattle, Barbara frequently lectures around the state of Washington on issues involving special needs trusts and government benefits for the elderly and disabled.

2022-11-03T14:52:39-04:00Tags: |

Title II Disability Work Rules Part I: Will I Lose My Disability Benefits if I Try to Work?

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Barbara Isenhour, Esq., of the firm of Isenhour Bleck, PLLC in Seattle, Washington. The firm focuses on government benefits for individuals with disabilities and estate planning for families with special needs children. A board member of NAMI Eastside in Redmond, Washington, and Full Life Care in Seattle, Barbara frequently lectures around the state of Washington on issues involving special needs trusts and government benefits for the elderly and disabled.

2022-06-28T10:17:34-04:00

Divorce Settlements Can Imperil Public Benefits

By Katherine N. Barr, Esq. The prevalence of divorce for couples having a child with special needs is hotly contested. Some studies cite divorce rates up to 85 percent, while studies at the Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt University have reported significantly lower rates than the general population for couples having a child with Down syndrome. [...]

2021-01-14T16:14:22-05:00

Utilizing the Spend Down Option to Maintain SSI and/or Medicaid Eligibility

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Carol S. Battaglia, Esq. of San Diego, California. She is one of the authors of Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting and Administration, published by the State Bar of California. Carol also serves as counsel to the Special Needs Trust Foundation of San Diego, a charitable pooled special needs trust. Her practice is limited to the creation of estate plans using special needs trusts and assisting trial lawyers in implementing special needs trusts and other strategies to receive an injured party's settlement funds while maintaining eligibility for government assistance.

2022-06-28T10:25:55-04:00

Transition Planning Should Start Early

By Ann McGee Green, Esq. Transition planning, which readies a young person with disabilities for adulthood, should ideally begin at the age of 14 or 15. At that time, the teen, parents, and educators should discuss the skills that will be needed to support "life after school." Will college be an option? Is employment likely? [...]

2021-01-08T12:51:54-05:00

The Danger of Medicaid Block Grants

By Bridget O’Brien Swartz, CELA The budget deficit dialogue underway at both state and federal levels seriously threatens the well-being of individuals with disabilities.  Various proposals to restructure Medicaid are being floated, but the one that has received the most publicity would end the federal government’s commitment to  pay approximately 60 percent of state expenditures [...]

2021-01-08T12:51:25-05:00

Planning for Adult Children with Disabilities

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Bryn Poland, Esq. and Pi-Yi G. Mayo, CELA, of the Law Office of Pi-Yi Mayo, in Baytown, Texas (mayopoland.com). Their practice focuses on elder law and special needs planning, including special needs trusts, Medicare set-asides, and Qualified Settlement Funds. Both are members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Texas chapter (TX NAELA). Pi-Yi is a Certified Elder Law Attorney, Special Needs Alliance Executive Committee member, and currently serves on the Board of the TX NAELA chapter. Bryn graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 2007 and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the Houston Bar Association. Together they have authored many papers covering topics from long term care insurance to Pickle people (https://mayopoland.com/resources/).

2022-06-28T10:27:50-04:00

Buying a House for a Special Needs Beneficiary: Proceed with Care!

The Voice is the email newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Martha C. Brown, CELA, at the St. Louis, Missouri law firm of Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC. She limits 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 in Kansas City Magazine for the last five years. Through her continuing legal education presentations and community presentations, Martha helps attorneys and the public understand and address legal issues concerning the elderly and people with disabilities.

2021-01-08T12:51:03-05:00

The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIP) Under 2010’s Health Care Reform Law

The Voice is the email newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Sarasota, Florida attorney Mary Alice Jackson, Esq., a member of the Special Needs Alliance and active participant on its Public Policy Committee. She is a partner at Boyer & Jackson, P.A., where her practice includes special needs and long term care planning, estate planning, probate and end-of-life issues. Mary Alice is also an active member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, a past Chair of the Florida Bar Elder Law Section, and an adjunct professor in the Stetson University College of Law Elder LL.M. program.

2021-01-08T12:50:34-05:00

The Impact of Special Needs Trusts on Eligibility for Subsidized Housing

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Massachusetts Special Needs Alliance member Emily S. Starr, CELA, an attorney with Starr Vander Linden LLC with offices in Worcester & Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Her practice focuses on estate planning, elder law, and government benefits issues for families which include individuals with special needs. Emily is a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the 2007 recipient of The Theresa Award, a national honor recognizing extraordinary contributions of attorneys to the community of individuals with disabilities, and a recipient of the 2008 Scholar Mentor Award from Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.

2021-01-08T12:50:17-05:00

Comparing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance members Ann N. Butenhof, CELA and Judith L. Bomster, Esq., of Butenhof & Bomster, PC, in Manchester, New Hampshire (www.butenhofbomster.com). Ann and Judith focus their practices on estate planning, special needs planning, elder law and probate and trust administration. Both are members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the local New Hampshire chapter ("NH NAELA").

Ann is a Certified Elder Law Attorney, a Fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel, has been listed as one of New Hampshire's Top Lawyers since 2003, and has been designated one of New England's Super Lawyers.

Judith currently serves on the Board of NH NAELA, on the Ethics Committee of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and was the primary draftsperson for New Hampshire's first pooled special needs trust program for third-party trusts, a program launched in 2010 by the Enhanced Lives Options Group, a New Hampshire non-profit organization that manages several pooled special needs trust programs.

2022-11-25T10:08:57-05:00

Special Benefits for Military Families — Elect With Care

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Sandra L. Smith, CELA, a partner with Oast & Hook, P.C. in Suffolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is the editor of the firm's weekly newsletter, the "Oast & Hook News," which is available on the firm's website. She is certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Ms. Smith is the co-author of the "Special Needs Trusts" chapter for the Elder Law in Virginia handbook published by Virginia CLE. She is a member of the Board of Directors and the immediate past president of Commonwealth Community Trust, a pooled trust in Richmond, Virginia. She retired from the United States Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel with over 20 years active duty service, and earned her Juris Doctorate degree from the College of William and Mary School of Law.

2022-11-25T10:21:32-05:00

The Past, Present and Future of Community Living for Persons with Disabilities – A Christmas Carol

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Walnut Creek, California Special Needs Alliance member Stephen W. Dale, Esq. of The Dale Law Firm, PC. Mr. Dale is a disability rights advocate and attorney dedicated to providing quality estate planning. He is a frequent speaker on a variety of disability related topics across the country. Mr. Dale regularly teaches courses to the public, financial professionals, and other attorneys on special needs trusts and trust administration. Additionally, Mr. Dale serves as the trustee for the Golden State Pooled Trust. Mr. Dale offers numerous videos and handouts to the public and his colleagues, many online through his Achieving Independence initiative.

2021-01-08T12:49:18-05:00

What Health Reform Means for Persons with Disabilities

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Albuquerque, New Mexico Special Needs Alliance member Nell Graham Sale, CELA. Nell's practice concentrates on taxation, estate planning, estate administration, business succession, disability planning and elder law. She is a Certified Elder Law Attorney as designated by the National Elder Law Foundation. The recipient of much recognition from her peers, Nell is a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and since 2007 has consistently been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers. Not least importantly, Nell is a regular contributor to the blog at her firm, Pregenzer, Baysinger, Wideman and Sale.

2022-11-25T10:28:41-05:00

Veteran’s Benefits

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Jacob H. Menashe, Esq., of Lynnwood, Washington. Jacob is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a past Chair of the Elder Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association. Jacob's practice emphasizes estate and long-term care planning, special needs trusts, probate, guardianship and Social Security/SSI disability appeals.

2022-11-03T14:52:58-04:00Tags: |

Dear Grandma and Grandpa…

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq., a founding partner of the law firm of Jones, Wilcenski & Pleat, PLLC in Clifton Park, New York. He practices in the areas of Special Needs Planning, Elder Law, and Trust and Estate Planning and Administration. Ed is a past President of the Special Needs Alliance, and writes and lectures frequently on issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families

2021-01-08T12:48:48-05:00

Planning Options With Retirement Benefits

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Ken W. Shulman, Esq., a partner in the Boston, Massachusetts office of Day Pitney LLP. His practice includes estate planning and related issues for families who have children with disabilities, and elder law. He presently serves on the board of the Asperger's Association of New England and on the Combined Jewish Philanthropies Committee on Disabilities. He previously served on the board of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He is a co-author of Special Needs Trust Administration Manual, A Guide for Trustees, available through DisABILITIESBOOKS.

2021-01-18T10:31:25-05:00

Retirement Accounts and Government Benefits

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance members Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq. and Tara Anne Pleat, Esq..

EDWARD V. WILCENSKI, Esq., is a founding partner of the law firm of Jones Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC in Clifton Park, New York. He practices in the areas of special needs planning, elder law and trust and estate planning and administration. A member and past president of the Special Needs Alliance, Ed writes and lectures frequently on issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.

TARA ANNE PLEAT, Esq. is a founding partner of the law firm of Jones Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC in Clifton Park, New York. She focuses her practice in the areas of special needs planning, trust & estate planning and administration, long term care planning and elder law. Tara is a member of the Special Needs Alliance, frequently speaking on estate planning and administration, special needs planning and related disability issues for state and local bar associations and community organizations.

2021-01-08T12:48:06-05:00

What happens when persons living with disabilities marry?

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance members Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq. and Laurie Hanson, Esq.. Ed Wilcenski is a partner in the Clifton Park, New York law firm of Jones Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC. His practice is focused entirely on Special Needs Estate Planning, Elder Law, and Trust & Estate Planning and Administration. He is a former President of the Special Needs Alliance, and is a frequent author and lecturer on topics involving special needs trusts and estate planning for individuals with disabilities and their families.

Laurie Hanson is a shareholder in the Minneapolis, Minnesota elder law firm of Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A. whose focus is to provide individuals who are aging or living with disabilities positive strategies to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. Ms. Hanson concentrates her practice exclusively in the areas of government benefit eligibility, special needs trusts, trust and public benefit litigation, estate planning and planning for incapacity. She is the past president of the Elder Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

2022-11-03T14:53:06-04:00Tags: |

Housecleaning? Please Don’t Pitch These Records!

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Janet Lowder, CELA; Sandra J. Buzney, JD, LISW and Mary B. McKee, JD, who practice law in northeast Ohio with Hickman & Lowder Co., L.P.A. Janet and Sandra are members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA); Mary belongs to the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR). Janet is also the Vice President of the Special Needs Alliance, a national organization committed to helping individuals with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who represent them.

2022-11-25T10:13:31-05:00

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