Under the federal tax code, certain low- and middle-income workers are eligible for a tax credit, known as the Saver’s Credit, designed to reward them for contributing to their retirement plans. The new tax law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, provides that people will now be able to benefit from the credit when they contribute to ABLE…

On July 10, President Trump issued an executive order that could compromise the independence of federal agency judges, most of whom work at the Social Security Administration (SSA). “Nothing less than the integrity of the administrative judiciary is at issue here,” the president of the American Bar Association said. Federal agencies like the SSA often…

In the past two years, nearly every state in the country has passed legislation enabling people with disabilities and their families to open new savings accounts, modeled after popular 529 college savings plans, to save for disability related expenses. But early projections indicate that many of these state savings programs are losing money, in part due…

Travel is sometimes necessary when a family has a child with special needs. Family members may need to visit the person with special needs, or a medical emergency may require travel to care for the loved one, or the family may simply want to take the child with special needs on vacation. For years, the…

Under new Department of Labor regulations that took effect April 2, workers filing for private disability benefits should have a more transparent and fairer appeals process. Many employers provide short- and long-term disability insurance for their employees as an important part of their benefits packages. When an employee becomes disabled, disability insurance policies will typically pay…

In an underreported case involving police violence, the state of California has agreed to pay nearly $1 million to a man with schizophrenia.  The money will be placed in a special needs trust (SNT) to enhance the man’s quality of life while preserving his eligibility for public benefits. On December 10, 2012, Jeffrey Jurgens was…

Trustees of special needs trusts are increasingly relying on “administrator-managed prepaid debit cards,” such as True Link cards, when disbursing funds to beneficiaries.  These cards offer trust beneficiaries greater independence and the ability to get what they need more quickly.  But such cards existed in a regulatory gray area as far as the Social Security…

Tailoring a Will and Power of Attorney for Multiple States

If you own property — whether houses, bank accounts, or vehicles — in more than one state, do you need estate planning documents for each state? The answer is probably no, but you need to do some planning if you want to avoid going through probate in each of the states. A lawyer can generally draft…

Once a child reaches age 18, it is presumed that she has the ability to make decisions on her own, regardless of her abilities. At this point, many parents of children with special needs who cannot live independently go to court to become the child’s legal guardians so that they can continue to make important…

More state Medicaid agencies are shifting to or considering managed care models to provide long-term care services, sparking a growing backlash from disability and elder rights advocates. Traditionally, state Medicaid agencies paid individual health care providers on a fee-for-service basis. This model has long been criticized as cost-inefficient because it gives providers an incentive to order unnecessary treatments. The…

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