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By Erica Fitzgerald, Esq., & Stacy M. Sadove, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP On Tuesday October 5, 2017, the Appellate Division, First Department issued a unanimous decision overruling an earlier decision by Justice Alice Schlesinger in an Article 78 proceeding between the Public Advocate of the City of New York and the City Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Farina.  The matter before Judge Schlesinger centered on the safe transportation of students with …

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When Bullying Turns Deadly

by Stacy M. Sadove, Esq., and Erica M. Fitzgerald, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP On Wednesday, September 28, 2017, an 18–year-old student at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx allegedly stabbed two fellow students. This resulted in one student’s death and left the second student in critical condition. Early reports indicate that the alleged attacker had been the subject of repeated bullying by the stabbing victims.[1] Recent …

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College Transition

By Marion M. Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP As the school year begins for your child with a disability, review his or her Individualized Education Program (IEP) and ensure that it is correct and that it accurately reflects your child’s needs. If you have not received a copy of the IEP, contact your district immediately. The law requires that your child have the IEP in place at the beginning of …

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New York Paid Family Leave

Beginning January 1, 2018, private employees in New York State will be covered by the state’s paid family leave program. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the family leave bill into law in 2016, along with a $15 minimum wage bill. The governor’s office described the legislation as the nation’s most comprehensive and strongest paid family leave policy. Here is what you need to know. Who is eligible? Nearly all private employees …

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A supplemental needs trust is an important tool that can be used to make sure a child with special needs has access to the services and care he or she requires. Establishing a supplemental needs trust as a part of an overall financial plan is one step in providing a solid base of lifetime support. Once a child turns 18, his or her income will be used to determine eligibility for public benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Earning too much will lead to the loss of these important benefits. However, funds paid into a supplemental needs trust will not be counted as income and, therefore, will allow an individual with special needs to retain public benefits.

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Special Education Law

By Marion M. Walsh, Esq. The proposed American Health Care Act Law, which just passed on May 4th by the House of Representatives, if approved by the Senate, will have a significant impact on school services for students with disabilities. The House bill proposes cuts to Medicaid of $880 billion, over 10 years. School districts currently receive about $4 billion in Medicaid reimbursements and will face cuts in already tight …

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By Marion Walsh, Esq., and Arshi Pal, Graduate Law Clerk, Littman Krooks LLP On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court, in a seminal and unanimous ruling, in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, [https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-827_0pm1.pdf] ruled that students with disabilities must receive an educational plan that will allow them to make more than trivial progress.  This represents an important victory for students. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act …

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Littman Krooks Special Education Advocacy

By Marion M. Walsh, Esq. March represents Developmental Disabilities Awareness month. According to the Center for Disease Control, the prevalence of developmental disabilities, in the past twelve years, has increased.  The term Developmental Disabilities encompasses a diverse group of severe chronic conditions that are due to mental and/or physical impairments. People with developmental disabilities have problems with major life activities such as language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living.  Developmental …

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By Erica Fitzgerald, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Article 17-A of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act provides a mechanism by which, generally speaking, a parent or interested person over the age of 18 (“Petitioner”) may seek and obtain guardianship over an individual diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability (“Ward”).   In order to obtain 17-A guardianship over another individual, a Petitioner must establish that a 17-A guardianship is in the best …

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