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For most parents with a disabled child, a life care plan will help to sustain the child's standard of living once mom and dad are no longer capable of providing care for the child - due to illness or death. Government benefits are available to supplement income, but for most people these benefits are not enough to provide the same standard of living that the child enjoyed under his parent's care.
Although an inheritance may seem substantial in nature, the most important aspect of government benefits is healthcare. Even if a parent feels that an inheritance will be enough to provide for her child, the ongoing costs associated with medical care for a disabled person can cost millions of dollars. By working with a Chartered Special Needs Consultant, families can confidently pass on a financial legacy to their beneficiaries, without running the risk of disqualifying them for government benefits.
There are many state and federal programs available. There are strict and specific rules that must be met in order to qualify, and we are glad to help families understand and apply for these programs. Some of the programs that are available are Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Section 8 Housing.
First, set up an appointment with a special needs planner. We can help to determine what federal and state programs your family may be eligible for, as well as start to make financial decisions for the future. Depending on the value of your estate or your "net worth," we may recommend involving an attorney who can help to create a special needs trust for your daughter as well.
Unfortunately, having too much money in your child's name can disqualify him for state and federal aid. If your child has more than $2,000 to his name, he can become disqualified for SSI and Medicaid benefits. This also includes if your son is a beneficiary to any life insurance policies. There are ways to set up funds so that the child is still eligible for benefits, and to guarantee that your child is still financially taken care of in the future - such as setting up a special needs trust.