The need for people with special needs to be able to lead self-directed, independent lives is paramount. Providing those types of services, and educating the general public about topics affecting individuals with disabilities, is the mission of the Dallas REACH Resource Center. In providing these important services, REACH can go a long way toward promoting a “barrier free community.”
How REACH helps those with disabilities
One of the ways REACH helps those with disabilities is to hire them and train them in consulting with other businesses regarding interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), its regulations and guidelines. Employees are also trained to conduct audits of businesses on-site in order to find any architectural barriers and then provide information on potential tax credits for removing these barriers.
REACH provides various seminars and strategies for life planning
REACH offers several presentations that focus on the topics and issues relevant to families dealing with special needs. These seminars include audience participation and interaction, and sufficient opportunity for questions and answers. Another great workshop offering life planning strategies for families with special needs is The “Special Needs Planning Model.”
Why you may need a special needs plan
Caring for someone with a disability can be a challenge. The resources you and your family will need to properly care for them, including both medical and personal needs, can become overwhelming. If your loved-one receives aid from any need-based government programs, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then you must take steps to protect their eligibility for those benefits programs, while still providing sufficient care for their daily lives. The purpose of special needs planning is to do just that.
You may not be able to rely entirely on family members
A common misconception many parents of children with disabilities have is that their family members will inevitably provide the care their child needs, should the parents no longer be able to provide the necessary care. Whether or not that is the case for you, as a parent you should be sure to provide at least the groundwork for the care you loved one will need. This is wise if only to provide continuity of care. At the very least, your child with special needs should have the security that a plan can provide, as the required care can be complex and costly, depending on the nature of the disability or need.
A few mistakes to avoid in special needs planning
For families dealing with special needs, having a specific plan can be crucial. Whether you have a child or adult relatives with a disability, if that person is unable to take care of their own financial or personal affairs because of their disability, special needs planning must be done properly. However, even if you create a plan there are a few mistakes that you need to avoid, such as creating a special needs trust but failing to fund that trust. Delaying your planning is another serious mistake.
Forgetting to fund your special needs trust
In most cases, a special needs trust will serve as the foundation of your plan, as it is an essential part of all special needs planning. It is the special needs trust that will maintain ownership of and protect the assets reserved for providing the care your loved one needs. And yet, simply drafting and executing the trust document itself is not sufficient. The assets must also be transferred or “funded” to the trust. Generally, this means simply transferring the property into the name of the trust. Regardless of how simply it is, if the funding process is not accomplished properly, then your trust will be flawed leaving your loved one’s future at risk.
Putting off creating your special needs plan
Possibly the worst mistake is procrastinating. The reality is, everyone with disabilities can benefit immeasurably from having a plan in place. Taking this important step should be done as soon as possible, before the unthinkable happens and the caregivers become incapacitated or die before the special needs planning can be completed. If that were to happen, your loved one with a disability may be forced to rely on others who may or not be prepared to do so properly.
If you have questions regarding special needs planning, please contact The Vermillion Law Firm, LLC for a consultation either online or by calling us toll free at (888) 567-5745.