In some situations, when a family member has a significant disability, it can be inspiring to watch as parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and loved ones come together to meet their needs. With all of this support, the individual may be able to grow up with many of his or her needs attended to by the people who care for them the most. However, as time passes, questions are bound to come up about the future, such as: When should I start preparing for my disabled loved one’s long-term care?
As Soon as Possible
When someone has a disabling condition, his or her parents may be the caregivers throughout the person’s life. Parents will age, and failing to plan for when they are no longer able to provide for their child’s needs can be devastating. The last thing families want is for their disabled loved one to suddenly be placed in a strange environment for their own protection because plans were not in place for this inevitability. The longer you delay planning, the harder things can get, so don’t wait. You and other concerned loved ones and family members need to have an honest discussion about the future as soon as possible.
Applying for Medi-Cal and SSI
In all likelihood, your loved one is going to need government benefits such as Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) and SSI (Social Security Income) to take care of his or her medical and basic expenses. As with many government programs, there are numerous stages, and qualifying for these benefits can be a lengthy process. You don’t want to wait until a family member can no longer provide care for your loved one to start the application process. Further, according to a recent cost of care survey, the average cost of a year of long-term care in California is $127,750 and is projected to rise significantly in the future. Without Medi-Cal or long-term care insurance, you will have to pay for these services out-of-pocket. For most people, this is not a realistic option. If your disabled loved one is not already receiving Medi-Cal and SSI, and you believe they will qualify, contact these programs and get the process started today.
California Special Needs Trust Planning
Having Medi-Cal and SSI are a great start, but these benefits are income-sensitive, meaning that in order to qualify to receive them, your disabled loved one will not be permitted to have many personal assets. The good news is that families and loved ones can set up a California Special Needs Trust to pay for certain expenses that will improve the individual’s quality of life. The best part about the trust is that as long as the payments are made for qualifying expenses, they will not count as income to the beneficiary. When you set up a California special needs trust early, and in the right way, you, the individual’s family, and other loved ones, can contribute to it over time. Additionally, anyone who wants the disabled individual to inherit from them can direct the funds to the special needs trust.
One of the best ways to plan for your disabled loved one’s future is to work with an experienced special needs planning attorney. At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we understand the issues which come up when planning for a special needs loved one and can help you evaluate your options so you can make informed decisions for the future. Please contact us online or by phone to set up a free consultation today so you can start your solution. https://www.salvolaw.com/