For parents of children with disabilities in Rockland County (and anywhere), it’s only natural to feel anxious about securing long-term support for them.
But it’s reassuring to know you’ve taken care of future arrangements for your child through the process of special needs planning.
Special needs planning includes multiple moving parts: health care access, support services, financial assistance, estate planning, asset protection and more.
You need to look at two major areas:
- Getting access to services for people with special needs
- Protecting the financial resources of a loved one with special needs
A special needs planning lawyer in New York can help you through it all.
The Cuddy Law Firm is a team of special needs planning attorneys dedicated to our neighbors in Rockland County.
In fact, if you live anywhere in Rockland, Westchester, Orange or Putnam Counties, or any place in New York State, we’re here for you.
Let’s look closer at what can go into your plan for a more secure future for your child . . .
Special Needs Planning in Rockland County: Getting Access to Services
Creating a path for a healthy, full life for your child and family includes getting access to the right services.
These are two key forms of assistance that can make a difference in the life of a person with disabilities:
- Enrichments and supports offered under the New York Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)
- Access to health care through Medicaid
The OPWDD services include educational programs, life skills learning, social opportunities, and help finding employment and housing.
The programs are for people with developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism.
The process of qualifying for OPWDD services is strict. You must submit extensive documentation of your child’s intellectual functioning, medical conditions and history of disability.
People sometimes get turned down. A New York special needs planning lawyer can help you through the process of appealing a denial.
Meanwhile, Medicaid can provide for the health care that a child with disabilities needs.
Medicaid has strict financial requirements. It’s designed for people with limited economic means. Children who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits based partly on financial need automatically receive Medicaid.
But your family may get denied. Talk to a special needs planning attorney to see what you can do to get your child qualified—and better supported.
Special Needs Planning in Rockland County: Protecting Family Assets
A crucial part of getting access to services such as Medicaid and SSI disability benefits is qualifying financially.
It’s possible to help your child do that by shielding assets that may put them above the economic limits.
These are some of the areas to address:
- Special needs trusts
- Estate planning
- Creating a guardianship
Keeping resources for an adult child in a special needs trust can protect their ability to meet the financial requirements for SSI, Medicaid and services under the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA), Katie Beckett programs, and Home & Community Based Services (HCBS).
You can use estate planning, including wills, living wills, advance directives, life insurance and more, to ensure your child’s long-term future.
And guardianships, which come in different types in New York, establish someone to look after the affairs of a person with disabilities.
The Cuddy Law Firm is here for people in Rockland County (and Westchester, Orange, Putnam and all over New York) as they make these important, complicated decisions.
We can help you make sure your loved one is set up for the most secure possible future—and help you feel better that they will have all the support available to