Special Needs Planning

special-needsIf you are raising a child with a developmental or physical disability, we can help you cope with the many legal and financial issues involved. We can help you obtain the assistance you need now, and make sure your loved one with special needs will be cared for according to your wishes when you are no longer able to provide the care he or she needs yourself. We can also:

  • Alleviate your concerns about protecting your child’s eligibility for SSI and other government benefits
  • Determine the specific benefits available to you and your special needs loved one
  • Maximize the amount of public and private resources available to you
  • Help you address the planning needs of other members of your family
  • Review your plan periodically to take into account changes in your family, financial or medical situation

Special Needs Trusts

Special needs trusts are among the most powerful tools in the special needs planner’s toolbox. While there are a variety of special needs trusts, they generally seek to maintain eligibility for means tested government assistance programs, including Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), while at the same time providing supplemental services not provided by Medicaid and SSI. These supplemental services can dramatically improve the quality of life for your special needs loved one by providing services such as:

  • Annual check-ups at an independent medical facility
  • Attendance of religious services
  • Supplemental education and tutoring
  • Out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses
  • Transportation (including purchase of a vehicle)
  • Maintenance of vehicles
  • Purchase materials for a hobby or recreation activity
  • Funds for trips or vacations
  • Funds for entertainment such as movies, shows or ballgames
  • Purchase of goods and services that add pleasure and quality to life: computers, videos, furniture, or electronics
  • Athletic training or competitions
  • Special dietary needs
  • Personal care attendant or escort

It is important to note that special needs planning is a highly specialized area of the law. Mistakes can lead to the suspension of Medicaid and/or Supplemental Security Income and devastating financial consequences. If you are raising a child with special needs, contact us today to discuss your particular situation. We have the knowledge and experience to properly design and implement your plan and preserve eligibility for government assistance. Contact us today for a consultation.