Articles Posted in Special Needs Planning

AdobeStock_247257412-300x200It’s not surprising that people are often confused by the terms “guardianship” and “conservatorship.” Usage of these terms varies from state to state, and multiple levels can apply in either case.

We hope this quick overview will help set the record straight about when and how these terms apply according to Connecticut law.

To get started, let’s take a high-level look at the different kinds of guardianship and conservatorship that are possible depending on the specific situation.

AdobeStock_325370692-300x250Asking someone to be a trustee of your trust shows you have a lot of faith in that person’s capabilities and ethics.

But how much is their time worth?

Serving as a trustee can be a big responsibility, and can also be quite time consuming. And while family members and friends often serve as trustees without expecting any financial payment, there are many cases in which compensation is either warranted or required.

Tax Free SavingsFor those who are new to the game, ABLE accounts are tax-free savings accounts for individuals with qualifying disabilities that began before age 26.

Created in 2014 as the ABLE Act, there are now over 20 ABLE programs to choose from, including Connecticut, which has its own ABLE plan!

How does an ABLE account work?

Dollarphotoclub_69690745-300x212In 2022, Americans with disabilities will receive a significant increase in their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and in other Social Security benefits.

According to the Social Security Administration, monthly SSI payments are going up 5.9%, a change that started as of December 30, 2021 for SSI payments and Social Security benefits paid in January 2022.

The increase is a result of the yearly COLA (cost-of-living) adjustment and inflation and based on the Consumer Price Index determined by the U.S. Department of Labor. (The COLA increase is the largest since 1982!)

AdobeStock_125116470-300x200By Colleen E. Masse

Planning a secure, comfortable, and fulfilling future for a loved one with a disability is a huge responsibility. It’s not a task to be undertaken lightly, or without expert legal assistance. 

A strong plan has two parts. The first is the drafting and executing of core legal documents including power of attorney, a healthcare directive, a Will, and a special needs or supplemental needs trust. Each of these documents serves an important role, but they are just the foundation. 

Who Blue cubes. Part of a series.

There are many ways a trustee of a special needs trust could cause harm to a beneficiary, however unintentionally. This is why many people choose to have a disability planning attorney take on this critical role.

Here are 10 things to consider when deciding who should administer a special needs trust:

1. SSI, SSDI, Medicare, Medicaid… sound confusing? It can feel like alphabet soup to the uninitiated. Does the prospective trustee understand the differences between these public benefit programs and the rules that govern them? A trustee with limited understanding could unwittingly jeopardize a beneficiary’s eligibility.

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summer fun

If you use a wheelchair, there’s a lot to do in Connecticut, especially during our way-too-short summer. Whether you love the beach or the woods, there are many great venues to sample.

We did some research and selected some special places for you to check out.

Take a Hike

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy lists wheelchair-accessible trails in Connecticut. Here are user-reviewed five star-rated trails:

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iStock_$GiftIf you’re coping with a disability, either your own or a family member’s, a little help goes a long way. The little-known PLAN of Connecticut Charitable Trust is available to pay for a wide range of products and services that could significantly improve your quality of life.

The Charitable Trust provides assistance to people of all ages with disabilities, based on financial need. According to the US Department of Labor, individuals with disabilities are three times as likely to live in poverty as any other group regardless of race, age, gender or geography. Continue reading

dollars-1412644-mThe Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.

SSDI pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning Continue reading

By  Colleen Masse

AdobeStock_330235599-300x200These are strange times. We all feel it. We’re in our homes, venturing out cautiously, masks have become a part of daily life. I constantly have the eerie feeling I’m in a dystopian movie. All families are finding new ways to be together and take care of each other. In families already dealing with underlying disabilities these new stressors can be terrifying. 

Families with members who have disabilities have always had to learn to zig and zag since society isn’t always easy to navigate, so adaptability is a skill that has been developed by necessity. Now more than ever that adaptability is being tested. It’s no news to you that advocacy and determination are now, more than ever needed.

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