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This April, members of the Special Needs Alliance (SNA) traveled to Washington D.C. for their annual spring meeting and a “Day on the Hill.” During their visit to Capitol Hill, SNA members briefed their local members in the Congress and Senate on issues regarding public policy, advocacy and special needs trusts (SNTs). Littman Krooks attorney and SNA member Amy C. O’Hara, Esq., spoke with aides of Rep. Eliot Engel (NY) and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (NY) to discuss and act on what appears to be a simple drafting error in the writing of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993…

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Please join us for an informative webinar designed for parents and grandparents of children with special needs. Sheryl and Amy, two prominent Special Needs Planning attorneys, will discuss a variety of topics including: why planning for the future is necessary, when to plan, planning tools available, the role of public benefits..

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Life insurance plays an important part in your estate plan, especially if you have young children or a spouse or family member with a disability who depends on you for support.  Life insurance can be especially helpful in providing immediate cash at death, which is often needed for funeral expenses and to pay the debts of the decedent.

In determining how much life insurance you need, you should consider both the long-term needs and short-term needs of the people who depend on your income.

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The two-week-old strike by New York City school bus drivers will continue, as the city rejected the union’s proposal for a “cooling-off period” during which the drivers would return to work and the city would stop seeking bids for a new bus contract.

The strike has disproportionately affected students with special needs.  Only 152,000 of New York’s more than 1.1 million school children ride the school system’s yellow buses, but 54,000 of them are students with special needs, many of whom use wheelchairs.

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Littman Krooks LLP continues to enhance their strong reputation in the Special Education community through new initiatives in 2013. The experienced, fast-growing team of Special Needs Planning and Special Education attorneys and advocates is now uniquely positioned to better accommodate the needs of their clients. The firm has hired Giulia Frasca, an experienced Special Education attorney. Ms. Frasca works with children with special needs and their parents to obtain a free and appropriate public education from their school district. She also handles other special needs matters such as guardianships, wills and trusts…

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit of New York, in Bryant v. New York State Education Department upheld New York’s regulatory prohibition on the the use of “aversive interventions,” which are negative consequences or stimuli administered to children who exhibit problematic and disruptive behavior that impedes their education. The interventions can include electric shock, food limitations, and restraints in schools.

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In 2007, the federal government began an initiative to help low-income seniors and persons with disabilities move back into the community from nursing homes.  The multi-billion dollar program, called Money Follows the Person, awards grants to states to help them develop community-based resources for long-term care, and reduce reliance on institutional care. Although more than $1 billion was awarded during the five-year demonstration period, the states have fallen short of their goals…

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At the close of the NYS legislative session last week, the Assembly and Senate concurred on the Governor’s bill to create the Justice Center to protect people with special needs and disabilities. This bill was introduced by Governor Cuomo in May with great fanfare. While we all applauded Governor Cuomo’s intent, the original bill did not deal with a number of complications which have now been resolved. The legislature and Governor agreed to additional amendments to strengthen the bill and make it more practical.

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April is Autism Awareness Month, a time to raise public consciousness about autism and autism spectrum disorders.  You should be aware of what is happening this month to raise awareness, and new facts that have just been reported about autism diagnoses.

One of the most prominent signs you may see – or wear yourself – indicating the significance of this month is the Puzzle Ribbon, produced by the nonprofit Autism Society.  This ribbon featuring multi-colored puzzle pieces is an internationally-recognized symbol of autism awareness.  Wear it with pride and thank others when you see them wearing it.

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The pooled special needs trust maintains a separate account for each beneficiary of the trust. A beneficiary’s parent, grandparent, guardian, or individual with the disability must first set up the account. An initial enrollment fee and annual maintenance fee vary depending on the trust provider. The pooled trust achieves the same objectives as an individual special needs trust – to maintain the beneficiary’s government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid while using the trust monies to supplement government benefits.

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655 Third Avenue,
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New York, NY 10017
(212) 490-2020 Phone
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Westchester County
399 Knollwood Road
White Plains, NY 10603
(914) 684-2100 Phone
(914) 684-9865 Fax

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