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ABLE Act Update

By: Amy C. O’Hara, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (the ABLE Act) became effective in New York State on April 1, 2016. The purpose of the ABLE program is to assist individuals with disabilities with saving funds in accounts to better enhance their independence and quality of life. The program is intended to supplement, not supplant, government entitlements, such as Medicaid and SSI. Distributions …

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By:  Bernard A. Krooks, Certified Elder Law Attorney Generally speaking, there are two kinds of special needs trusts. Those set up to handle money owned by the beneficiary (like a personal injury or medical malpractice settlement, for instance) are usually called first party special needs trusts.  Those set up by someone other than the beneficiary, to handle money not belonging to the beneficiary, are usually called third party special needs …

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By Alexis Gruttadauria, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP At the end of 2016, President Obama signed the Special Needs Fairness Act into law, and this week the New York State Assembly and Senate voted to adopt the law in New York, which allows for an eligible individual to set-up his or her own First Party Special Needs Trust (click here to read more about the Federal Special Needs Fairness Act). Although …

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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 Stacy Sadove, Esq., and Arshi Pal, Graduate Law Clerk On January 18, 2017, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) revised their Regulations with regard to the evidentiary standard Administrative Law Judges (“ALJ”) use to determine eligibility for disability benefits. The new Regulations became effective on March 27, 2017. Five Step Review Process The revised Regulations maintain a five-step analysis for the appeals process, in determining whether an individual is eligible …

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By Stacy M. Sadove, Esq. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) put forth a listing of disabling conditions that are considered severe enough to qualify an individual for a medical determination of disability for purposes of social security disability benefits (either Social Security Income “SSI” or Social Security Disability Income “SSDI”).  These conditions interfere with an individual’s ability to achieve substantial gainful employment. In order to determine if a condition meets …

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By Marion M. Walsh, Esq. In this holiday season, the attorneys and staff at Littman Krooks send thanks and warm wishes to our clients for trusting us with representing your family. You inspire us each day with your tenacity and care for vulnerable loved ones. We pride ourselves in working with you to make a difference in your family member’s life. In a changing legal landscape, advocacy for the elderly, …

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By Amy C. O’Hara, Esq. 12/14/2016 Update: President Obama signed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act into law yesterday allowing individuals with disabilities to establish their own first party special needs trusts.  Good news!  While not much has gotten done in Washington recently, some good news to report from the beltway. Yesterday, the Senate passed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, which had already passed in the House of Representatives.  …

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The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act Passes

By Amy C. O’Hara, Esq., CELA® Good news!  While not much has gotten done in Washington recently, some good news to report from the beltway. Yesterday, the Senate passed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, which had already passed in the House of Representatives.  This Act allows individuals with disabilities, who have capacity, the ability to establish their own first party special needs trust. Prior to the passage of this …

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A guardian is someone who is appointed to make important decisions for another person who is not able to make those decisions on their own. This may be for a child, an adult with intellectual or developmental disabilities, or an adult who becomes incapacitated. In New York State, different types of guardianship petitions are filed in different courts, and it is important to understand the distinctions between them. Guardianship for …

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