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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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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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HIPAA Privacy Rules Revealed

Just between you and me, what you don’t know could hurt you Imagine you have a nineteen-year-old daughter away at college about three hundred miles from your home. Her roommate calls to say there’s something terribly wrong. She tells you that your daughter is speaking incoherently and behaving unusually, and you hear it for yourself when your daughter is put on the phone. Knowing that there’s a serious medical problem, you suggest that the roommate […]

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When Your Child Becomes an Adult: Practical Solutions to Potential Problems

When a child who has special needs becomes a legal adult (18 years old in most states), a parent is no longer recognized as a person who can make decisions for that child. If your child is two to three years or less from this significant birthday, this is the time to evaluate your situation. What changes? What’s at risk? “Depending on your child’s level of self-care and decision-making abilities, leaving your child to make […]

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Recent Military Retirement Benefits Law Reform is a Much Anticipated and Welcomed Change

The Disabled Military Child Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama in December, 2014, changed the law affecting retirement benefits for military personnel – and opened the door to improving the financial futures for military dependents with special needs. No longer an either/or choice Before this legislative change, a military parent, through his or her military retirement plan, could provide survivor benefits for a child with special needs. It could supplement the child’s income, […]

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What type of Insurance should I Buy?

BY ROBERT WRUBEL, CFP®, AIF® WE SHOULD USE LIFE INSURANCE TO COVER POTENTIAL LOSSES AT THOSE TIMES WHERE THE LOSSES ARE OTHERWISE UNAFFORDABLE. Harry Potter fans know that Harry’s house was protected by an unbreakable charm. He was safe from frightening foes as long as he was inside the protection. Harry did not know about the protection until he was close to being an adult, but the protection was in place all the same. As […]

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Managing Your Medical Bills & Insurance Paperwork

MANAGING YOUR MEDICAL BILLS & INSURANCE PAPERWORK: TIPS FOR MAXIMIZING REIMBURSEMENT BY HARVEY J. MATOREN, MPH, CCAP Do you become frustrated and overwhelmed when managing your medical bills and filing your health insurance claims? You’re not alone. It can be extremely difficult for the average patient or caregiver to get through the “maze of insurance land.” For people with a chronic or terminal illness, or acute episodes of illness as well, managing and filing insurance […]

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What Insurance Doesn’t Cover For Children With Genetic Conditions

BY BETH H. VOGEL, MS, CGC A Survey of Parents in the New York-Mid-Atlantic Region NYMAC conducted a consumer survey to identify gaps in coverage and to assess care coordination. The results of the survey will be used to create tools for advocacy. The New York-Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Genetic and Newborn Screening Services (NYMAC) is a Regional Genetics Collaborative funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. NYMAC serves individuals with genetic conditions living in […]

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Teaching Fiscal Responsibility To Children

BY JENNIFER WOODWORTH, PSY.D Creating boundaries when they are young and allowing more freedom as they get older, produces children who are savvy about how and why they are spending their money. Starting in kindergarten, and even before, children are learning about money; what coins and dollar bills look like, how much they are worth, and the symbols that differentiate them from each other. However, it is more likely that children are watching their parents […]

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A GPS for Families of People with Special Needs – Part III

BY LAUREN AGORATUS INTRODUCTION I wrote this manual to help other families of individuals with special needs and the professionals who work with them. My daughter now has five life-threatening conditions, and autism just to keep things interesting. We have been through everything from early intervention to currently going through transition to adult care. I hope this helps you on your journey. Part III follows; to review Parts I and II, see the September and […]