Introduction of ABLE Accounts in Some States this Summer

An ABLE account is designed to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. This summer, certain states will begin introducing ABLE accounts, providing special needs individuals and their families another resource through which to save and invest for the future. Signed into law in 2014, the ABLE Act and associated accounts are modeled after 529 education savings plans […]

Planning For The Future:Ensuring Your Children’s Care through Elder Law

BY AMY BOULWARE Knowing your family will be safe and secure, even when you may not be around to care for them, is a concern nearly every parent faces—a concern only amplified for parents of children with special needs. But it’s not an issue without an answer. Elder law— which specializes in special needs trusts, estate planning, incapacity procedures and more — is a powerful tool that can not only ensure your peace of mind […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tax Information for People with Disabilities

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 907 has information people with disabilities can use to prepare their 2015 tax returns. You’ll find information about itemized deductions for medical expenses, the Earned Income Credit and the new ABLE Accounts that can be used to pay for certain disability-related expenses. Get free help with your tax return at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) site near you. For more information call […]

Employment Discrimination Charges Based on Disability Increased in 2015

EEOC Releases Fiscal Year 2015 Enforcement and Litigation Data Retaliation, Race Discrimination and Harassment Persist; Disability Charges Increase WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today released detailed breakdowns of the 89,385 charges of workplace discrimination that the agency received in fiscal year 2015. Retaliation charges increased by nearly 5 percent and continue to be the leading concern raised by workers across the country.  Disability charges increased by 6 percent from last year and […]

The Department of Labor Requests Public Comments on Proposal to Strengthen Claims Procedures for Disability Benefits

January 12, 2016 Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) The Department of Labor is asking for public comments on a proposed rule that would increase consumer protections when employer-sponsored plans decide claims and appeals for disability benefits. The proposal would better align the rules for disability benefits with the claims requirements already in place for health benefits under the Affordable Care Act, help employees protect against inappropriate denials of disability […]

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, […]

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 […]