As a special needs parent myself, I regularly tell our clients that getting connected to parent support groups is almost a necessity to get through life with a special needs child. Traditional sources of parenting wisdom and tips, like grandparents, the mommy group at the playground, and even the many many many parenting books at Barnes and Noble simply aren’t going to have the information we need for our differently abled and differently developing children. Special needs parent groups are a lifesaver.
But there are certain types of information that should still come from professionals. I frequently see bits of info regarding benefits and legal issues passed around in these groups that is just plain wrong. Much of it is ultimately harmless, but a lot of things I see can actually result in the loss of benefits and opportunities if the information is taken as true.
For example, recently this myth has been making the rounds: that individuals with disablities can only open an ABLE account if they are receicving SSI benefits. This is not true. You do not have to be receiving benefits in order to qualify for an ABLE account. And this is only the latest in a string of myths I see passed around about programs and benefits for kids and adults with special needs.
[The ABLE National Resource Center has a webinar coming up this Thursday, June 20, to bust that and some other myths about ABLE accounts.
Just as you must go to a doctor for a reliable medical diagnosis, you must go to experts for other types of reliable information. An attorney who deals with special needs issues is one great source, and our office is always willing to answer questions – the easiest way to get a question to us is by email firstname.lastname@example.org but you can also call and leave a message. We will get back to you. We are here to help as best we can.
Make sure you have accurate information about what help your child is entitled to and make sure you have accurate information about how to get those benefits.
Parker Counsel Legal Services provides estate planning, guardianship, special needs trusts, and other services to families who have children with developmental disabilities in Texas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.