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Attention Caregivers: SSDI Benefits For Dependents With Special Needs May Not Last Forever!

Caregivers of dependents with special needs who receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits must fully understand the nature, scope and duration of these benefits to effectively plan for the financial future of their dependent. When SSDI benefits are payable based on a parent’s working record to their adult dependent with special needs, the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers this type of benefit as a “child’s” benefit. It is this form of eligibility that this […]

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Financial Literacy For Students With Disabilities

A Necessary Life Skill for Independent Living BY LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. “It is important to remember that financial literacy, like all transition activities, should be started early as an ongoing process rather than waiting until the child is ‘transition age’ which is usually considered around age 14-16 in schools.” Students with disabilities need to have financial literacy as part of their transition to adult life. This will enable them to live more independently. The Arc […]

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Financial Literacy for Everyone: Florida’s My Money Program

Individuals with disabilities make up approximately 12.9 percent of Florida’s population; 9.9 percent of working aged individuals in the United States (18-64 years old) have a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet, individuals with disabilities experience significant disparities in employment and participation in the workforce, per the American Institutes for Research. In Florida, 18.2 percent of individuals with disabilities are employed, while those without a disability are employed at a rate of 60.5 […]

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Top 10 Mistakes Caregivers Of Dependents With Special Needs May Make When Planning

1. DISINHERIT YOUR DEPENDENT WITH SPECIAL NEEDS Many people with special needs rely on government benefits to help provide food, shelter, and medical care. If you have been advised to ‘disinherit’ your dependent, remember that these public benefits provide no more than ‘bare bones’ necessities. 2.HAVE ASSETS IN YOUR DEPENDENT’S NAME In order to qualify for government benefits, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a person cannot have more than $2,000 in assets, […]

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Connecting The Financial Dots

While learning about the specifics of a child’s diagnosis, parents can check their child’s eligibility for different public assistance programs, which can help cover the costs not included in medical insurance and provide alternative and beneficial therapies. BY JORDAN CAPIZOLA AND AMELIA MULFORD The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that it costs $233,610 to raise a child from birth to 17 years old.1 That is, it costs $233,610 to raise a child before factoring in […]

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Holistic Guide For Families Who Have A Loved One With Special Needs

PUBLIC BENEFITS BY CALEB HARTY Many important benefits are outlined below, but not all. Also, effort has been made to point out important aspects of the programs, but outlining every detailed exception, rule, etc., is beyond the scope of this informational guide. For context, most of these programs are “means-tested,” which means they are usually not available until the child turns 18 because up until that point the parents’ assets and income are taken into […]

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Special Needs Parents Need To Consider Life Insurance

BY JOHN LATONA Parents of a special needs child will spend a lot of money on care throughout their child’s lifetime. Recurring expenses of any kind are what define a family’s financial lifestyle, so more bills and specific needs means a more expensive lifestyle. Raising Children is Expensive Kids are expensive. (You don’t say…) As a parent of two young children, I know this first-hand. For those of you who have your first child on […]

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Bipartisan legislation introduced to enhance ABLE accounts

Source Autism Speaks New legislation was introduced late yesterday in Congress to enhance Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts. Nineteen states currently offer ABLE accounts, which allow individuals to save for short- and long-term disability-related expenses on a tax-favored basis. The new legislation – ABLE 2.0 – includes three separate bills: ·      ABLE to Work Act would provide additional incentives for savings for ABLE account holders who work. This bill would qualify ABLE accounts […]

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Special Needs Planning

DEALING WITH THE FULL PICTURE BY CALEB HARTY What does “special needs planning” really mean? I often speak with people that believe that they’ve completed their special needs planning simply because they established a Special Needs Trust (SNT). Of course, SNTs are an  extremely important component of planning for a loved one with special needs. When set up correctly, an SNT allows an individual to remain eligible for public benefits, while the trust owns a […]

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Issues To Consider Regarding Guardianship And Supported Decision-Making

BY HUGO DWYER & VOR’S COMMITTEE ON GUARDIANSHIP RIGHTS Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their parents, family members and guardians may have heard about Supported Decision-Making (SDM), an initiative that could affect their decision-making rights. Some see SDM as an alternative to guardianship, while others view it as an attempt to remove the legal instrument that provides a safety net for vulnerable individuals. VOR is a national organization that advocates for high […]