Virginia Disability Law Blog

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Legal Guardianship and the VA Fiduciary Program are intended to help veterans who have mental or physical disabilities rendering them incapacitated in some fashion, but both work in very different ways. The VA Fiduciary Program is a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program that appoints a person to manage the veteran’s VA benefits money when the veteran lacks capacity to do so.  Unlike a guardianship, which can extend to all areas of the veteran’s life,…
IMPORTANT The Social Security Administration has expanded its list of Compassionate Allowances conditions qualifying for expedited processing for disability benefits. The 4 new conditions brings the total number of conditions on the Compassionate Allowances list to 237. The Compassionate Allowances program reduces the time it takes to make decisions on disability applications filed by claimants with the most serious disabilities, so they receive decisions on their claims within days, instead of months or years.…
Social Security Benefit Recipients to Get Small Raise The Social Security Administration has just announced that those who receive Social Security Retirement, Social Security Disability, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be getting a 1.6% raise in 2020. The 1.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin in January 2020 for the more than 63 million people who receive Social Security Retirement and Disability benefits. The maximum Social Security benefit will increase to $3011 a…
The phrase “trust fund” often brings to mind a particular type of person, someone who comes from a wealthy family with an excessive amount of money available to spend. Although there are families who have that kind of generational wealth that’s passed down to them through a trust fund, it’s not as common as you may think. In fact, more families with a modest amount of financial assets are using trust funds for various reasons.…
Question: What Healthcare Benefits Will I Receive After I’m Approved for Benefits? Individuals who are under the age of 65 and are successfully approved for Social Security Disability Benefits are also eligible to receive Medicare. However, the individual will be subject to a 24-month waiting period before Medicare benefits begin. This delay can present a major challenge for people who are disabled and need healthcare but must wait two years before they are eligible for…
Question: What Happens If I Can No Longer Serve as Trustee Of My Child’s Special Needs Trust? Thanks to medical advancements and improvements, the life expectancy for individuals with special needs is longer than ever. While these advancements are wonderful for people with disabilities, it also presents a concern for parents who may be afraid that they will not be able to properly oversee their child’s care as they grow old or experience healthcare challenges…
When Should You Hire a Disability Lawyer? If you have filed a claim for disability benefits through your employer-provided disability insurance policy and received a denial letter, you should contact a long-term disability attorney for a denial letter review. Unlike the social security administration, long-term disability insurance companies are not impartial and fall under ERISA law. The first sign your disability insurance company is about to deny your claim is when they start asking specific…
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are quickly becoming a part of daily living in communities all over America.  In areas where public transportation is limited or inaccessible, ridesharing is filling in the gaps. These services also have the potential to make life easier for people with disabilities who are unable to drive. Uber As one of the two most popular ridesharing services, Uber has acknowledged the importance of providing transportation options for those with…
When I meet with parents to start the process of creating a special needs plan for their child with disabilities, I almost always advise against leaving any type of inheritance outright to the child when mom or dad passes away. This can come as a shock to parents, who may strongly believe that leaving their child a large life insurance policy or cash benefit, for example, would be more helpful in the long run than…
How do transfers of resources affect eligibility for SSI benefits? If a person applying for Supplemental Security (SSI) benefits gives away property or sells property for less than fair market value, there is a presumption that the transfer was made for the purpose of making the person eligible for SSI benefits. If the transfer of property was not for SSI eligibility purposes, the claimant would need to provide evidence to Social Security to show why…