Special Needs or Disabled Individuals – An Attorney Will Yield Better Results Than These Programs
When a family member is seriously and permanently injured oftentimes the disabled person will qualify for federal government assistance programs. The most commonly tapped programs are Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs will help somewhat, but with the current economic state of the nation these benefits are always at risk. Special needs individuals can fair much worse.
Should the disabled or developmentally challenged individual benefit from as little as $2,000 from a source such as an inheritance, government benefits being receive are likely to be denied to the individual. There are legal loopholes which can be taken advantage of in order to maintain every benefit that is being received. An attorney, who can be a “knight in shining armor”, is a vital resource that should be consulted for this purpose.
Trusts for special needs or disabled individuals are one method for protecting government assistance while still allowing the individual the benefit of assets left behind by parents or family. It is not, however, as simple as taking a trip to the local office supply store and purchasing a do-it-yourself legal form. The reason is that the legal code undergoes several amendments every year. While most changes may not affect any laws regarding probation, estate planning, wills or trusts the future of a loved one should not be left to a few generic pages of a form kit.
The only exception to consulting an attorney is if the parents or guardian of the special needs individual or the disabled individual themselves is an attorney conversant in estate planning. While technically any attorney who has passed the bar can offer services including estate planning, many different aspects of law have its own intricacies. One would not readily consult attorney specializing in corporate law for a traffic ticket. Special needs and disabled individuals require an attorney with personal knowledge and experience with what those needs of the individual will be.
Performing an online search for “special needs attorney” and the area in which you live should yield numerous results. It is recommended that several attorneys are consulted initially instead of settling for the first name one sees. The client is “interviewing” the attorney for a job. Many attorneys will have immediate family members with special needs and therefore have first-hand knowledge of what details are necessary. An attorney with a personal interest may indeed be the way to go.