Estate Planning and Business Law

Planning for Your Special Needs Child 18th Birthday

When your child turns 18, he or she will be considered an adult. Government benefits available to your child now, may not be available when he or she turns 18. Your child's assets will be used to considered their continued eligibility for government benefits.

Please be aware of the following:

  1. To be eligible for Supplemental Security Income ["SSI"], your child must meet the definition of disability pursuant to the definitions used by the Social Security Administration (SSA). When your child turns 18, he or she has to re-qualify for SSI using the adult definition of disability;
  2. Before your child's 18th birthday, eligibility for benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid or MediCal in California, are based on the parent's income. After your child's 18th birthday, eligibility for these benefits is based on your child's income and assets, regardless if your child still lives at home;
  3. If your child presently gets Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments because you -- the parents -- are currently receiving it, this benefit will continue when your child turns 18;
  4. At age 18, your child may qualify for Medical Assistance, if he or she already qualifies for SSI. Medical Assistance helps to pay for medical expenses.
  5. For more information please go to the Social Security website: www.socialsecurity.gov

Special Needs Trust

When you, family and friends want to help provide financially for your special needs child while maintaining valuable government benefits, a Special Needs Trust may be the answer.

In addition to preserving government benefits, the Special Needs Trust can also provide for the specialized care and advocacy of your child's unique needs.

For more information regarding Special Needs Trust, please feel free to contact the attorneys at Blackwell, Santaella & Jahangiri Legal Services, LLP.

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