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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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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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Littman Krooks Special Education Advocacy

by Marion Walsh, Esq. and Enjole Johnson, Graduate Law Clerk This week, the current United States Department of Justice and the Department of Education, in the administration’s first Dear Colleague Letter, dated February 22, 2017 (“Trump Guidance”) rescinded  a May 13, 2016 Dear Colleague Letter promulgated by the Obama administration  (“2016 Guidance”) regarding transgender students’ rights in public schools. Although popularly reported as addressing bathroom access, the rescinded 2016 Guidance …

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by Marion Walsh Esq., & Arshi Pal, Graduate Law Clerk To read our earlier entry, “Supreme Court Case on Service Dog Access to Schools has Broad Implications for All Students with Disabilities” click here. On February 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court, in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, rendered an important victory for parents and students. The Court ruled that parents need not exhaust remedies and bring a special …

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By Sandi Rosenbaum, Special Education Advocate In December 2016, the U.S. Department of Education has issued an updated Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools.  The guide brings together information published in a variety of guidance memos over recent years into a comprehensive reference document.  It is available at: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/504-resource-guide-201612.pdf. A student is eligible for 504 protections if they have a substantial limitation …

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by Marion M. Walsh, Esq. On Tuesday, February 7, 2017,  the United States Senate, by a vote of 51-50, appointed Betsy DeVos as the United States Secretary of Education.  She will serve as a member of President Trump’s cabinet  and will lead the United States Department of Education,  which sets policy, produces guidance memos and oversees federal funding of educational programs. During her confirmation hearings, Ms. DeVos alarmed both Senators …

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