Loud & Clear: Family Conversations2022-02-17T08:40:51-05:00

Loud & Clear: Family Conversations is written by our member attorneys and guests for individuals with disabilities and their families. We tackle the day-to-day and long-range issues that affect the quality of life. Readers are welcome to comment on the discussion, though we can not answer legal questions here. For answers to specific legal questions, please find an attorney in our Directory.

Planning for Mental Illness Flare-Ups

By Shawn Majette, Esq. Special needs planning for a loved one with mental illness is complicated. Symptoms tend to wax and wane. This makes it difficult to balance protection and [...]

May 14th, 2018|Comments Off on Planning for Mental Illness Flare-Ups

Staying Independent

Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities Want to Age in Place Pamela Merkle is executive director of the St. Louis-based, nonprofit Association on Aging with Developmental Disabilities (AADD). “Individuals with developmental [...]

April 3rd, 2018|1 Comment

The Impact of Tax Reform on Special Needs Planning

By James McCarten, Esq. As a 2017 holiday present to taxpayers, Congress passed tax legislation that your representatives, senators and many tax professionals have described as the most significant overhaul [...]

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on The Impact of Tax Reform on Special Needs Planning

Connecting Through Sports

By Scott Suzuki, Esq. Scott Suzuki (in white shirt) has been a Special Olympics basketball coach for over 15 years. The recent Winter Olympics reminded us that competitive athletics can [...]

March 4th, 2018|0 Comments

Should You Transfer 529 College Savings to an ABLE Account?

By Robert B. Fleming, CELA ABLE accounts are relatively new savings options open to certain individuals with disabilities. As long as the funds are used “to improve the beneficiary’s health, [...]

January 8th, 2018|Comments Off on Should You Transfer 529 College Savings to an ABLE Account?

Citizenship Status and Special Needs

By Barbara Isenhour, Esq. Citizenship issues can significantly complicate the often bewildering process of qualifying for special needs benefits. Each federal program has its own stringent citizenship regulations. In addition, [...]

December 10th, 2017|Comments Off on Citizenship Status and Special Needs

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 [...]

November 27th, 2017|Comments Off on Government Benefits for Vets with PTSD

Crowdfunding Should Be Handled with Care

By Stephen W. Dale, Esq. Crowdfunding, with websites such as GoFundMe, has increasingly been used to raise money on behalf of individuals with disabilities. In such cases, family, friends and [...]

October 7th, 2017|Comments Off on Crowdfunding Should Be Handled with Care

Changing Attitudes Towards Guardianship

By Scott Suzuki, Esq. Laws have to apply to everyone and this rigid standard can cause problems when dealing with the issue of "legal capacity," because capacity can’t be measured [...]

September 24th, 2017|Comments Off on Changing Attitudes Towards Guardianship

Special Ed Needs Flexibility

By Krista S. Peyton, Esq., Guest Blogger Families find it difficult to navigate the special ed system. In my experience, there’s a tendency for school districts to push a one-size-fits-all [...]

September 19th, 2017|1 Comment

Avoiding SSI Reductions When An Adult With Disabilities Lives With Family

By Neal A. Winston, CELA When individuals with disabilities live with family members, it can complicate their eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Since SSI’s monthly cash payments are meant [...]

September 4th, 2017|Comments Off on Avoiding SSI Reductions When An Adult With Disabilities Lives With Family

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 [...]

August 21st, 2017|0 Comments

ABLE Accounts and SNTs: How to Choose?

The “ABLE” account is a relatively new planning tool that offers an individual with disabilities a tax-free savings option (similar to a 529 College Savings Plan) that does not interfere [...]

August 2nd, 2017|Comments Off on ABLE Accounts and SNTs: How to Choose?

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