Blog

Deeming

Did you know that deeming, a process by which the Social Security Administration attributes part of parental income to the child, ends when your child turns eighteen?

It is important to reapply for benefits when your child turns eighteen if they were turned away before because now the child is looked at as an adult and it is only his or her income that will be considered.

Chaya Posner Law Community Outreach

Chaya Posner, Esq. will be presenting “A LIFELONG LEGAL TOOLBOX FOR TWEENS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS” at Parent to Parent of Miami, 7990 SW 117th Avenue, Suite 200 Miami, Florida 33183 on November 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM. Come join Chaya as she guides you through planning for your child as he or she transitions into adulthood to assure you can advocate for their education, health benefits, and government benefits.

November 3, 2016

What will your child do after “aging out” of special education? While the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has helped ensure that children with disabilities enjoy access to appropriate educational programs through around age 21,families often find themselves on their own once children reach adulthood. Without a clear plan for the future, special education “grads” can end up transitioning from an environment rich in educational and social opportunities to a limited lifestyle in the confines of the family home due to lack of funds and waiting lists. For many young adults with special needs, the goal is achieving some degree of independence through work. To change the future of a disabled child, it’s critical for parents to get involved early and seek advice from professionals, including an attorney whose practice focuses on special needs and a local disability advocate.
The Employment Picture
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability found that only 26 percent of working-age adults with disabilities are employed either in a job or their own business. While a combination of federal initiatives, private endeavors and technological advancements have made a difference, many individuals with disabilities continue to face obstacles to employment. Several laws have addressed this issue, most notably the groundbreaking Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

How Your Child Can Prepare
If your child hopes to join the workforce, even part time, planning will be key. According to the PACER Center, a Minneapolis-based national organization that assists families with transition issues, parents should begin planning five to 12 years before the child’s graduation.
The transition process is formalized under IDEA, which requires special education programs to provide students with transition planning at age 14. Specifically, a written transition plan must be incorporated into the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The plan should reflect the vocational interests of the child and draw on the perspectives of transition team members, including parents, teachers, disability advocates, vocational rehabilitation (VR) specialists and adult service providers. The IEP team must provide expert assessment of the child’s skills and, no later than age 16, direct the student to the appropriate, district-funded skills development programs. The team also must ensure that the student’s progress is measured on a regular basis to determine whether additional services are required.
It is essential that parents take an active role in the transition including registration with disability service agencies and seeking employment opportunities.
After graduation, young adults who qualify for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may be eligible for additional skills development programs as well as “customized” or “supported” employment programs. Offered both through VRs and private agencies, customized employment helps connect qualified applicants with employers and ensure that employees have all the resources necessary to succeed in the workplace. Parents should be aware that once a child is employed, earnings will have an impact on disability benefits.

Getting Started
Your child’s transition from school to employment may take some time and effort. But, with early planning and professional advice, you can make a meaningful difference in your child’s ability to forge a fulfilling adult lifestyle.
Your special needs planner can help point you in the right direction.

November 11, 2016

Illinois Woman Seeking More Home Care Wins Right to Amend Complaint to Name Proper Agency

An Illinois appellate court holds that the lower court improperly dismissed an administrative appeal of a Medicaid home care recipient who named the wrong agency as the defendant, remanding the case so that appropriate parties can be named. Grady v. Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (Ill. App. Ct., 1st, No.152402, Nov. 2, 2016).

Lauretta Grady sought additional hours of medical services under the Home Services Plan she received pursuant to the Traumatic Brain Injury Medicaid Waiver Program. Her administrative appeal was heard by an officer of the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), whose final written decision marginally increasing the number of hours was signed by the secretary of DHS at the time. Still dissatisfied with her assigned plan, Ms. Grady appealed the DHS decision in the Cook County circuit court, naming the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) and its secretary, but not DHS, as defendants. Ms. Grady’s suit named DHFS because of its statutory authority to make administrative decisions about Medicaid eligibility.

The circuit court determined that Ms. Grady’s failure to name DHS, the agency that issued the challenged ruling, was fatal to her claim and applied recently decided case law to deny her request for leave to amend.

The Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Third Division, agrees with the circuit court that DHS was the proper party, stating that the administrative agency whose decision is under review must be named in the action. But guided by the state’s Administrative Review Law, it decides that the lower court erred in denying Ms. Grady’s motion to amend and so reverses the decision to dismiss and remands the case to allow Ms. Grady 35 days to amend her complaint.

For a full text of this decision, click here.

December 7, 2016

SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST FAIRNESS ACT

The Special Needs Fairness Act passed in the Senate today. Once President Obama signs the bill, a significant change will take place with the First party ((d)(4)(A)) special needs trust. It will mean that a person with a disability who has mental capacity can create his or her own first party trust.

GUARDIANSHIP PRESENTATION

Chaya Posner will be presenting tomorrow on Guardianships at the Family Care Council of Broward FCC-10 at 201 W. Broward Blvd. Suite 302, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 at 10: am.

February 10, 2017

The US Department of Education has published a New Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities. It can be found at:

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/transition/products/postsecondary-transition-guide-2017.pdf