In-Kind Support and Maintenance – A Trap for the Unwary

This edition of the Voice is written by Leonard Anderson, Esq. Leonard is a Partner at Barlow Anderson, LLC in Anchorage, Alaska, where he has been practicing in the elder law field for more than 25 years. He is a member the Special Needs Alliance and his practice areas include probate, estate planning, guardianships, special needs planning, and trusts. He is a past president of the Anchorage Bar Association and is a member of the Probate Rules Committee for State of Alaska.

2024-05-07T13:58:56-04:00Tags: |

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 [...]


Housing: A Big Piece of Puzzle for Ensuring Your Loved One’s Future

By Desiree Kameka, Autism Housing Network As the project leader for the Autism Housing Network, I have visited over 100 residential options and social enterprises across our country. I have seen the great, the good, the bad, and the “I thought this was a good idea.” Abraham Maslow was right when he listed “shelter” as [...]


Where Can Service Animals Go?

By Richard A. Courtney, CELA In addition to performing helpful tasks, service dogs offer unconditional love and opportunities for social interaction. Service animals can change lives. My daughter, Melanie, who’s had service dogs for years, comments that beyond the many helpful tasks they perform and the unconditional love they provide, they open up opportunities for [...]


A Place Of Her Own (Part II)

The 2014 CMS Home and Community-Based Settings Rule By James McCarten, Esq. This is the second in a series of three articles exploring the challenges, options and effects of new regulations on community-based living for individuals with disabilities. The author is both a special needs attorney and father to Kathryn, who has autism. The first [...]


A Place Of Her Own

By James McCarten, Esq. First and foremost, I am Diane's husband and Kathryn's father. After that, I am an attorney and a "tax nerd," which is the title bestowed on me with much love, affection and humor by my daughter, Kathryn. Kathryn is almost 24 and has autism. Her mother and I want as independent [...]


SSI Rules for Students

This installment of the Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Barbara Isenhour, Esq., of the firm of Somers Tamblyn King Isenhour Bleck, PLLC in Seattle, Washington. Barbara's practice focuses on government benefits for individuals with disabilities and estate planning for families with children who have special needs. A board member of 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 individuals with disabilities.


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 [...]


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 [...]

2024-05-06T14:52:40-04:00Tags: |

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 [...]


Getting Creative: Models for Filling the Housing Gap

By Mary O’Byrne, Esq., and Stephen W. Dale, Esq. Previous installments of this three-part series have examined the scope and causes of the housing crisis faced by people with disabilities, as well as government programs designed to address it. This final article explores models being used by nonprofits, families and private industry-often with the help [...]


Missing the Mark – Government Housing Programs for People with Special Needs

By Mary O’Byrne, Esq., and Stephen W. Dale, Esq. In the first article of this three-part series, we examined the scope and causes of the crisis in housing for individuals with disabilities. Here, we describe government efforts to address it. The performance of government at all levels has been inconsistent with regard to the housing [...]


Tough Choices: People with Disabilities Face Housing Crisis

By Mary O’Byrne, Esq., and Stephen W. Dale, Esq. This is the first in a series of articles addressing scarce housing for people with disabilities. The shortage in housing for individuals with disabilities has reached crisis proportions, with some special needs attorneys citing it as their clients' number one issue. "Pricing Out in 2012," a [...]


Head Over Heart Moving to a Group Home

By Brian Rubin, Esq. Deciding whether or not an adult child with disabilities should move from the family home into a supported, community-based residence can be wrenching experience. Aside from a desire for their loved one to live as fulfilling and independent a life as possible, mom and dad must plan for the time when [...]


Don’t Forget Living Space Adaptations When Planning for Special Needs

By Karen Kirks Alexander, AIA, President, KKA Architecture, PA As families and their attorneys plan for the special needs of their loved ones, critical health care is always rightfully at the top of the list of concerns. However, the family and a team of professionals, including attorney, financial planner, life coach and specialized architect, should [...]


Buying a House – More Questions

This issue of The Voice is written by Martha C. Brown, CELA, a Special Needs Alliance member in St. Louis, Missouri. Martha 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 for the last six years in Kansas City Magazine. 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 state wide task force to rewrite the guardianship code in Missouri.

2024-05-06T14:24:50-04:00Tags: |

Community-Based Residences Make Social and Economic Sense

By Brian Rubin, Esq. The availability of community-based housing is enormously important for individuals with disabilities. Living in natural home settings and interacting with the wider community provide opportunities for personal growth, independence, and the building of self-esteem. For more than 20 years, I have served on the board of directors of Clearbrook, a social [...]