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Employee Disability Benefit

Since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has provided strong protections to people with disabilities, vastly improving the accessibility of buildings. Stores, restaurants and other businesses built ramps and made other accessibility changes because they were required by law and the owners knew they would be held accountable. Now, some members of Congress want to make fundamental changes to the ADA. H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act …

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ABLE Accounts: What You Need to Know

By Ryan J. Byrnes, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP The purpose of the ABLE program is to assist individuals with disabilities with saving funds in accounts to better enhance their quality of life. The program is intended to supplement, not supplant, government entitlements, such as Medicaid and SSI. Distributions from the account can be used to pay for qualified disability expenses, including education, housing transportation and health. Here are some answers …

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By Arshi Pal, Esq., & Stacy M. Sadove, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Important Update! On August 21, 2017, Governor Cuomo signed Assembly Bill A6743, amending Social Services Law §366.  The signed legislation only adds the word “Individual” into the statute, and the changed wording will have significant implications for many individuals with disabilities. The revised law allows individuals with disabilities under the age of 65 to establish their own first …

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Employee Disability Benefit

By Stacy Sadove, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are generally available to adults only when they cannot participate in a substantial gainful employment due to a disability. Sometimes beneficiaries want to try returning to work, but are concerned about losing their benefits. One option to transition from disability to working is to participate in the Ticket to Work Program. Under …

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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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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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