Unexpected expenses are a regular fact of life for many parents of children with disabilities, but for parents with children entangled in juvenile jail systems, the additional costs can be exorbitant. According to a March 2917 report from the Marshall Project and The Washington Post, 19 state juvenile jail systems regularly bill parents for costs associated with their children’s stays…

Special Needs Trustee

Choosing the right person to serve as trustee of a special needs trust is one of the most important and difficult issues in creating the trust. A trustee typically manages the day-to-day operations of the trust, often making distributions to the trust’s beneficiary, investing the trust’s assets, and paying the trust’s bills – all while…

ABLE Account

ABLE accounts are a great new savings tool for individuals with disabilities, but not all people with disabilities are eligible to open these accounts.  The rules for determining eligibility are for the most part uncomplicated, although one requirement is proving controversial. Created by Congress via the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in…

People with Disabilities in Natural Disasters

Hurricanes, floods and wildfires have ravaged large swaths of the U.S. this year.  Every major natural disaster disproportionately harms society’s most vulnerable populations, particularly people with disabilities. Hurricane Katrina, for example, left hundreds of thousands with disabilities stranded for days, in some cases weeks, without access to medications, shelter, assisted living devices and other necessities….

Autism and Hospitals

Adolescents and young adults with severe autism are being confined in emergency rooms and hospitals for weeks or even months, sometimes restrained or sedated, due to a shortage of more suitable care options, according to an investigation by Kaiser Health News. It’s “the dirty little secret no one wants to talk about,” says the mother of an 11-year-old…

Securing Food Stamps for Disabled

For many young people with disabilities, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – aka food stamps — is a lifeline.  More than 11 million people with disabilities receive vital nutrition assistance through SNAP, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. But SNAP eligibility turns on a range of factors. For some people seeking SNAP…

Special Needs Trust

Simply defined, a trust is an agreement between two people — a grantor who donates funds to the trust and a trustee who manages those funds according to the grantor’s wishes, which are laid out in a trust document. The funds in the trust are typically used to assist a person or group, called the…

What do ABLE accounts pay for

In passing the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Actin 2014, Congress created a new way for potentially millions of people with special needs to save for disability related expenses without jeopardizing their eligibility for federal public benefit programs. In fact, these savings plans, popularly known as ABLE accounts, may be used for an even broader…

housing assistance

Those with special needs often cannot get by without housing assistance from federal programs like the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. For example, while many people with special needs are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the average rent for a modest one-bedroom rental unit is equal to 105 percent of the monthly SSI benefit…

Trust Beneficiary

If you are the main person managing the care of the beneficiary of a special needs trust, have you planned yet for a time when you may no longer be able to perform this crucial role?  It is important to plan appropriately to ensure that the beneficiary will have an advocate and someone closely managing…

© 2015 MATTHEW L. MERCER | Attorney at Law

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