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Fresno and Oakland Social Security Disability Law Blog

Special estate planning tools for special needs loved ones

You know that every California family could benefit from a strong, thoughtful estate plan. Everyone needs an estate plan, but not every estate plan is the same. In fact, it is possible to draft a plan that uniquely suits the needs of your unique family. If you have a special needs family member who requires care today or who will in the future, you may benefit from adjusting your estate plan to include these considerations.

A special needs trust could be a beneficial way for you ensure the care of your loved one in the future. Even long after you are gone, you can provide continued care, housing and money for other needs for a family member who cannot care for or provide for him or herself.

A special needs trust may be a solution for your family

There is no way to know for sure what will happen in the future, but California families can take certain steps to ensure that there are protections in place for every member of the family. Estate planning is a smart way to decide what will happen to your estate after you pass away, but there are certain estate planning tools that can also help you meet specific goals.

If you are caring for a special needs child, or a person who cannot currently care for themselves or will not be able to do so in the future, you may consider establishing a special needs trust. This step can allow you to set aside money for a special needs individual, and it could be a beneficial addition to an existing estate plan. 

Your options when cancer keeps you from working

A cancer diagnosis is a frightening, life-altering prospect. The moment you get the news, you know your life will be different, and during these uncertain times, you should not have to worry about money. Treatment can be a lengthy process, and both the disease and the side effects from the chemo can be difficult to manage while working.

Many cancer patients reach a point where they are unable to work. Lost income is an added stress to an already difficult situation, but those who are unable to work due to a serious medical condition may have a valid claim to Social Security Disability Income.

Leaving behind a rock-solid estate plan

You have given it a lot of thought and have finally decided the time is right to plan your estate. Perhaps you have a little money or some property to pass along, and you want to make sure they get into the right hands. More importantly, you may want to make sure they stay out of the wrong hands!

What you need to know about long-term care plans

It isn't uncommon for families to feel a certain level of discomfort when thinking about a loved one's long-term care needs. However, making plans now rather than later is beneficial for all involved.

Several different care options - and different payment options-are available. It's important to plan ahead not only to ensure loved ones have their needs meet, but also to ensure their assets are not depleted while doing so.

Will you receive the medical care you want?

The problem with end-of-life issues is that we don't always know when the end will be. If you're an older adult, you may have started thinking about what kind of care you want to receive in your final days. However, even college students should make sure that their wishes are known, should they be involved in a serious accident.

No matter your age or your current health, an advance health care directive is vital. Don't make your family members guess what you want. Doing so can place a very stressful burden on them - especially if family members disagree about what would be best.

Brain pledges made to VA program

Many veterans in California and throughout the nation are suffering with a silent injury that is among the most significant veterans' issues. Recent research has disclosed the effects of traumatic brain injury on veterans along with professional athletes or any person who suffered a head injury.

How are disability benefits reviewed?

The Social Security Administration conducts periodic reviews of recipients who are receiving disability benefits every three years to determine whether they are still eligible for blind or disability benefits. The review is based upon the type and severity of the claimant's medical condition and the likelihood of improvement. If no improvement is expected, the SSA will review the case every seven years.

Discharge status restricts veterans' benefits

Veterans are entitled to disability compensation, long-term medical care and other benefits and services. However, the Swords to Plowshares organization and Harvard Law School's Veterans Legal Clinic recently reported that bad paper discharges have excluded former service members from receiving benefits at a higher rate than any other time.

Social Security benefits programs are distinct

Fresno residents who have disabilities may be entitled to disability benefits under the Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income programs. There are major differences in the eligibility requirements and benefits for these programs.

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Melissa A. Proudian, Attorney at Law
1500 W. Shaw Avenue, Suite 403
Fresno, CA 93711

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