Resources for Funding Medical & Educational Services for Children with Special Needs

BY BRENDA L. FIGUEROA AND LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. Families of children with disabilities may struggle to get services for their children in schools and the medical system. They may not know how to get their child evaluated, that there may be free or low-cost services, or that there are organizations that can provide them with information and support. Some parents become peer supporters for other parents, helping them to navigate challenging systems, after advocating for […]

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 […]

Financial Literacy For Students With Disabilities – A Necessary Life Skill for Independent Living

“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.” BY LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. 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 has launched a Center on Financial Literacy […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

5 Ways To Advocate For A Child With Special Needs During A Divorce

BY MINDY STANNARD Going through a divorce can be a stressful and trying time for any parent. Parents of a child with disabilities or special needs often face additional challenges when going through a divorce. Even an amicable divorce can include many complicated issues when the parents have a child with special needs. Issues relating to decision-making, a parenting schedule, child support, alimony and division of debts and assets are especially important in cases where […]

5 Truths About Millennials And Money

BY TINA  HAY Many millennials leave high school and even college without any academic insight into personal finance or investing. 1. Millennials are interested in starting and running their own businesses. Whether it’s within the next few years, or later on in life, startup culture has become more and more appealing.  Resources for how to fund a new company or raise money for a new venture are very popular. Many young adults are trying to […]

Good Planning Protects Benefits And Creates Assets

BY ROB WRUBEL CFP®, AIF® A winning team needs to be established. thIs means finding a financial planner, a lawyer and an accountant each of whom understands the unique challenges and planning opportunities available to families like ours. A friend walked in to my office one day. He carried a leather briefcase. He put his heavy brown case on my desk then paused with his fingers over the brass clasps. He smiled and looked at […]