Call to Action! Ask Federal Legislators to Co-Sponsor Bills Benefiting People with Disabilities

The Special Needs Alliance and other prominent advocacy groups have long supported two pieces of legislation that would greatly benefit individuals with disabilities. Now we're asking you to help sign up additional co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act (H.R. 2123/S.1672) This bipartisan legislation was introduced in [...]

2021-01-22T16:03:50-05:00

Roundup: Decisions for Minors/Aid & Attendance/SNT Cost-Benefit

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 from member blogs and newsletters… Who Can Make Decisions for a Minor Child with Special Needs? In these days of blended families, who can represent the interests of a [...]

2021-04-12T06:28:50-04:00

Government Benefits for Vets with PTSD

By Kelly A. Thompson, Esq. While post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs throughout the U.S. population, military veterans are particularly at risk. Some studies estimate that up to 30 percent of the vets who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD. The disorder, which is caused by experiencing or witnessing a terrifying [...]

2021-01-11T11:09:08-05:00

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.

2021-01-22T16:03:07-05:00

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

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.

2021-01-11T10:48:30-05:00

Congress Helps Vets Safeguard Security of Kids with Disabilities

A little-publicized provision in the recently passed bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will help military veterans safeguard quality of life for children with disabilities after a parent’s death. Military retirees with a Survivor Benefit Plan pension may now assign such funds to a first party special needs trust (SNT) established on behalf of the [...]

2021-01-11T10:39:23-05:00

Second Chance: Rescued Dogs Help Vets Heal

By Nell Graham Sale, CELA During World War I, it was termed "shell shock." But while the psychological toll of war isn't new, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) continue to battle the common misperception that mental health and "war injury" are mutually exclusive. They face the same stereotypes foisted [...]

2021-09-29T10:21:54-04:00

Understanding VA Disability Benefits

By Cindy S. Alvear, Esq. and Julian E. Gray, CELA Most people are aware, to some extent, that the Veterans Administration (VA) offers benefits for service-related disabilities. Many don't realize, however, that for veterans with war-time service-even if stationed stateside-there may be coverage for certain non-service-related disabilities, as well. Here's an overview: Service Connected Disability [...]

2021-01-11T10:28:54-05:00

Call to Action! Ask Federal Legislators to Co-Sponsor Bills Benefiting People with Disabilities

The Special Needs Alliance and other prominent advocacy groups have long supported two pieces of legislation that would greatly benefit individuals with disabilities. Now we're asking you to help sign up additional co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act (H.R. 2123/S.1672) This bipartisan legislation was introduced in [...]

2021-09-29T10:37:00-04:00

Military Survivor Benefits and SNTs

Will Congress Correct this Inequity? By Kelly A. Thompson, Esq., Virginia Poor word choice can derail intent. Nearly a decade ago, legislation governing the military's Survivor Benefit Plan stipulated that payments be made to a "person." A literal reading of that language has meant that veterans who have children with special needs can't assign those [...]

2021-07-20T16:07:38-04:00

Military Families Face Legal Inequities

By Jeremy Hilton I am a Navy veteran and spouse to an active duty Air Force member. After our daughter, Kate, was born with a number of significant disabilities, I resigned my commission to be a stay-at-home dad. This year I was honored as Military Spouse of the Year for my advocacy on behalf of [...]

2021-01-22T16:03:28-05:00

VA Benefits: A Broken Bureaucracy

By Pi-Yi G. Mayo, CELA It's been said that navigating the Social Security and Medicaid systems is a "sprint," while applying for Veterans Administration (VA) benefits is a "marathon." The relevant law is far more complex and the process is riddled with challenges. In 2009, the VA set itself the goal of the resolving all [...]

2021-01-08T13:04:29-05:00

Military Life Complicates Care Plans for Dependents with Special Needs

By Kelly A. Thompson, Esq. Managing the care of a child with special needs is time-consuming and stressful. But for military families, who must relocate every three years, the process is grueling. A recently published study, co-authored by the National Council on Disability and the U.S. Marine Corps, details the challenges faced by participants in [...]

2021-01-08T12:57:53-05:00

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.

2021-01-08T12:49:30-05:00

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.

2021-01-08T12:48:58-05:00

The Military’s Survivor Benefit Plan and the Disabled Child

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. of Arlington, Virginia. Ms. Thompson is the author of "Trust Administration in Virginia" (published by the Virginia Bar Foundation) and the "Adult Incapacity" chapter of the Virginia Lawyer Deskbook, and she is an active volunteer with The ARC of Northern Virginia. She also serves as counsel for the pooled special needs trust for The ARC of Northern Virginia, and she is a member of the Legal Advisors group for the National Capital Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Ms. Thompson's readable article "Planning for Individuals with Special Needs" is available online.

2021-01-08T12:42:08-05:00

Veterans and Special Needs Trusts

You are reading The Voice, a newsletter published by The Special Needs Alliance. Our purpose is to provide information--and answers--about special needs planning for family members and professionals. We hope this newsletter helps you. We would love to hear your questions, suggestions and comments; please feel free to e-mail us. We also encourage you to forward our newsletter to others who might benefit from the information here, or who might have similar questions.

2021-01-08T12:33:13-05:00

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