October 26, 2014










Long Island Special Needs Attorney

Special Needs Planning is the practice of planning for families with disabled children or adults. If you have a child, grandchild or sibling with Autism, Down Syndrome or any other developmental disability, insure your loved ones are provided for with proper planning. Andrew M. Lamkin is experienced in the area of Special Needs Planning and will create an estate plan that will protect your disabled child.

Supplemental Needs Trusts

A supplemental needs trust is created with the intent of supplementing a disabled person’s income. The assets in the trust can pay for wants and needs not covered by government benefits.

If there are proceeds from a personal injury lawsuit or a disabled individual receives an inheritance, the special needs trust is a tool that protects the money for the lifetime of the disabled individual while allowing that individual to maintain his or her access to Medicaid.

Special Needs Trusts can be established in many different ways. The most suitable method of establishing a supplemental needs trust is dictated by the circumstances of each client.

Financial and Medical Decisions

When your disabled child turns 18 years of age, you no longer have the legal authority to make financial and medical decisions for them. In order to manage their affairs you, will need to become their legal guardian.

To do this, you will be required to file an Article 17-A Petition with Surrogates Court. Upon fulfilling all of the Courts requirements, you will be given the legal authority to make financial and medical decisions for your child. During this proceeding you can also seek the appointment of a successor guardian to replace you should you no longer be able to serve.

However, if your child has the legal capacity to execute a Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy, it is advisable that you explore this option, as it will save you time and costs,

Government Programs

Disabled individuals in New York are entitled to receive government benefits to assist them with medical costs and incidental costs of living. The most common programs are Medicaid, Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability (SSD). They each have stringent eligibility requirements and provide different benefits to recipients.

Medicaid covers many health care costs. SSI was created to provide income to the elderly, blind and disabled. There are minimum asset levels that one must have in order to be eligible for these programs. SSD pays benefits to disabled individuals who are unable to maintain employment as a result of as physical or mental disability. In order to eligible for SSD you must have paid into the social security system and accumulated work credits. Unlike SSI and Medicaid, there are no asset thresholds for SSD.

Call 516-605-0625 or contact me online to schedule an appointment. I am available to meet with you at your home or my office.