002

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 […]

004

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, […]

004

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 […]

002

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 […]

01

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 […]

11836653_878074902278126_1983336606256526125_n

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 […]

2

Caregiving, Finances, and Disability Insurance

In 2015, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and Easter Seals collaborated on Easter Seals Many Faces of Caregiving Study1, a study of caregivers2 in America. Financial impact topped the list of caregiver concerns, and the study found that 91% of caregivers are unpaid. That’s not an unusual statistic when you consider most caregivers are family members. But when family finances are a major concern, supplementing income or creating a good financial strategy to better […]

2

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 […]

1-sns

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, […]

10

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 […]