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Articles Posted in Special Needs Planning

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. 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.

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

what-next-1-924436-mWhen we get to a certain age, we sometimes experience what is jokingly referred to as a “senior moment.” We forget a name, miss an appointment or overlook a bill.

But if forgetfulness or confusion starts to seriously interfere with daily life, it’s time seek medical help. The symptoms could point to Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

What are the warning signs?

How can you tell if someone in your life is more than just a little forgetful and needs a medical evaluation? The Alzheimer’s Association lists these 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s: Continue reading

Money movementLegislators recently passed the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE), which would allow individuals with disabilities or their families to open savings accounts, with no tax on the earnings, to pay for certain qualified expenses.

The federal law states that individuals can build up a financial cushion without fear that their eligibility for Social Security and Medicaid benefits will be jeopardized.

We are hoping that, in the near future, this federal opportunity will become a reality for Connecticut families and individuals with disabilities.

Currently, to qualify for many public benefits, people with disabilities can only have $2,000 in assets– making it very difficult to save for retirement, education or even general living expenses. Continue reading

RetirementAlzheimer’s Disease is just for old people, right? Wrong.

About 200,000 Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are less than 65 years old. Some are in their 40’s and 50’s with children still living at home or in college. The financial implications are frightening. What happens if the breadwinner gets Alzheimer’s?

Over the past few years there have been several high profile stories in the news that highlight the reality of younger onset Alzheimer’s.

Here’s one of them – Continue reading

tree-of-love-4-1330924-mCould you ever imagine that leaving your spouse out of your Will could be a great thing?

It’s true. Even in the best of marriages, there may be times when it makes sense to disinherit your spouse. And it’s all for his or her protection.

Typically, a married couple’s Wills provide that when one dies, the estate passes to the other. However, there may be certain circumstances where this may not be the best plan. Consider the following example:

The Smiths are an elderly married couple. Bill is in a nursing home on Medicaid. Mary is still living in their home. Bill is called the “institutionalized spouse” and Mary is called the “community spouse” or “well spouse.”

What if Mary were to die first?

If Mary’s Will leaves everything to Bill, the assets he inherits might make him ineligible for Medicaid, Continue reading

High speed rail tracksYou may be able to get financial help sooner than you think.

If you become permanently disabled before your retirement age and are no longer able to work, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program that allows you to apply for your full Social Security benefits now.

Don’t be discouraged by the stories you hear about the application and determination process taking months, or even years. If you have one of the conditions included on the “Compassionate Allowances” list, your application may be approved in a matter of weeks.

How great that would be! Continue reading

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

compassYour child with special needs is getting older – and so are you. Perhaps your child has always had special needs, or maybe he had a life-altering event such as an accident or the onset of mental illness.  Whatever the reason, he will need help long after you’re gone.

We imagine your goals are two-fold:

1. Your deepest desire is to help your special needs child maintain his quality of life when you’re no longer here.

2. You also want to protect your child’s eligibility for government programs designed to support people with disabilities.

What is the best way to achieve these goals? Continue reading

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