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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

October brings to mind the beauty of the leaves changing colors and a time to enjoy the colder weather. But October also holds another meaning for millions of people: it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.Based on the numbers,...

Friday, October 1, 2021

How long has it been since you’ve reviewed your Medicare policy? With open enrollment fast approaching, there are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before you renew, add, drop, or switch coverage.Have you switched...

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s time to honor the culture and contributions of the Hispanic and Latin Americans that make up our great nation.National Hispanic Heritage Month started...

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Q: Should I choose a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medigap plan? A: Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, also known as Medigap plans: Allow you to go to any doctor or hospital in the U.S...

Monday, August 16, 2021

Planning For Your Special Needs Child Every family is different, and each of us must create financial strategies with our particular circumstances in mind. This is especially true forfamilies that care for children with special needs....

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Friday, August 6, 2021

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics wrap up with closing ceremonies on August 8, and it’s been an Olympic games like no other. We’ve watched the world’s finest athletes go for the gold. Which leads many to wonder: what exactly...

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happiness Is a Serious Problem Happiness is a serious problem for many people, especially in our current COVID-19 environment. You only need to look as far as Facebook and other forms of social media to confirm this. Happiness is even...

Thursday, November 12, 2020

How to Save Money on Your Medicare Prescriptions Reviewing your Medicare prescription drug plan each year can potentially save you hundreds or thousands of dollars annually on your prescription costs. The more medications you take and...

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Medicare Explained No matter how we spin it, Medicare is not as easy as it looks. This blog is going to attempt to help explain some of the basics about Medicare. You will learn how it works. You will understand Medicare Part A and...

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Medicare Vs. Medicaid Medicaid Medicaid is a means-tested program, which means that eligibility is based on a person’s income and assets. It is administered by the state, in accordance with the federal government. Medicaid...

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Two of the most often-asked questions I receive is “How much do I need to fund my child’s trust with?” and “How can I fund a trust for my child when I don’t have the money now?” Let’s address...

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

One of the best-kept secrets when it comes to guardianship and end-of-life decisions is the MOLST and the OPWDD checklist. I was recently sucked into the MOLST black hole when I attempted to implement end-of-life decisions for my...

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Many years ago my parents received a gift that they never asked for. My mother grieved for six months when she discovered that her youngest child, Scott, had been born with Down syndrome. It was routine for doctors in 1961 to advise...

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

What happens when you are no longer around to care for your disabled child? As you get older, this question becomes increasing relevant and, for many parents, a serious problem. If you are elderly and your child has been living at home...

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Approximately 66% of disability claims are being denied at the initial claims level. Considering the importance of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid to a special needs child and the new pilot program governing the appeals...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New York State is going through a difficult economic period which has resulted in significant budget cuts and reduced services to the developmentally and intellectually disabled (DD/I) population. This is not limited to New York. All...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

“Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so indispensable, none so powerful, as hope. Without hope people are only half alive. With hope they dream and think and work.” –Charles Sawyer Does special...

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Second-to-Die Life insurance, sometimes known as Survivorship insurance, is a type of permanent life insurance which is frequently used to fund a special needs trust (SNT). Characteristics of Second-to-Die insurance: It is permanent...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How can you be guaranteed to make a small fortune? Answer: Start with a large fortune and then invest poorly. Fortunately, life insurance does the opposite. You can take a relatively small amount of money and convert it into a larger...

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

In a different age and under vastly different circumstances, the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping once talked about crossing a raging river by “feeling the stones underfoot.” All of us— agencies serving the...

Monday, September 28, 2015

Below are a few questions you may want to ask yourself if you are the parent of a special needs child. Do you have a will? Do you have a Special Needs Trust? If so, have you arranged to properly fund the Trust? Are you aware of the...

Monday, September 21, 2015

I have completed many 17-A guardianship petitions for clients over the past 6 years. Some parents, however, choose to complete the petition themselves. For those of you who wish to take this path, I have compiled a list of 12 helpful...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Disability can be a real life changer. I should know. I’ve experienced it personally. I was 32 years old, single, had been the top producer for my company in a sales force of nearly a hundred. I had just purchased my first home,...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Is the ABLE Act going to help you? The answer is: it depends. ABLE accounts certainly provide planners with an additional tool for their Special Needs Planning toolbox. How easy will it be for parents to utilize ABLE accounts on their...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Many parents think that all special needs trusts (SNTs) or supplemental needs trusts can be invaded by Medicaid after their disabled child dies. Let me try and clarify. A first-party special needs trust (payback trust) is funded by...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Myth: You need to have guardianship in order to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for your disabled child or to be the representative payee. Generally, you don’t need guardianship in order to apply and be awarded SSI...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The ABLE Act, which will provide opportunities for disabled individuals to save money without adversely affecting government benefits, was signed by President Obama on December 19, 2014. The ABLE Act will benefit many families and...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Can I add money to my child’s Special Needs Trust? It depends on whose money it is and what type of Special Needs Trust (SNT) it is. If the trust is a first-party Special Needs Trust (or Payback Special Needs Trust) and the money...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My child receives SSI and I am the representative payee. Can I use the rent I charge my child to pay the premium for a life insurance policy to fund a special needs trust?Yes. The rent money is yours to spend as you like. Purchasing a...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What can you do if your special needs child has too much money in his or her name to qualify for SSI and Medicaid? Last week, we talked about spending the money down. Let’s now take a look at other alternatives. My special needs...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Government programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid are needs based. This means that an individual must have limited resources and satisfy certain other requirements. SSI provides a maximum monthly cash benefit...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

As someone who assists parents with 17-A guardianship petitions, I receive many questions regarding various aspects of guardianship. Below are some of the more common questions along with answers as I understand them to be correct. The...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What’s the difference between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)? SSI is a needs-based program which provides a monthly income. In order to be eligible, the individual’s...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Attend our Special Needs Parent Connection Support Group meeting on Saturday, October 4th to learn how to advocate for your child’s healthcare. Arlene Reith will be speaking about how to educate and communicate with medical...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Many parents ask if their special needs child should have a Section 529 plan or some other type of college savings plan. Other parents have already opened a college plan for their child. Since Social Security has recently clarified...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

As someone who assists parents with 17-A guardianship petitions, I receive many questions regarding various aspects of guardianship. Below are some of the more common questions along with answers as I understand them to be correct....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Summer’s over and it’s time to review where you are and determine what needs to be done to properly plan for your special needs child’s future. Here is a quick checklist to get you started. Have you addressed the...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Attorney Checklist In preparation for your meeting with your attorney, you may want to consider the following: Is your attorney well-versed in the area of special needs? How many special needs trusts did he or she design during the...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What will the next 40 years bring us? The next 80 years? Our tendency is to take a snapshot of our current situation and project that into the future, but if we think about it, that’s not how it really works. For instance, when...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

What are your plans for your special needs child once he or she leaves the public school system at age 21? Were you thinking of getting a placement for your child in a group home? If so, you may want to reevaluate your options. New...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When your child ages out of the public school system at age 21, your child will enter the world of adult services. Examples of these services are group homes, independent living with support, rehabilitation day programs, residential...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Did you know that once your child attains age 18, you no longer have the legal right to make medical and dental decisions for him or her? The state of New York assumes that your child has the capability to make those decisions for...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Don’t wait until it’s too late to plan. The last three weeks have served as a sad reminder as to how life can change in an instant. One friend passed away unexpectedly leaving her autistic child behind. She was in her...

Monday, April 2, 2012

How important are trends in Special Needs Planning? They are everything. Why? Take the 1115 People First Waiver that is about to be implemented in New York. Have you taken the time to think about how your child will be affected? Is he...