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Latest from Virginia Disability Law Blog

Choosing to serve as someone’s guardian is a huge responsibility. A guardian for an adult with special needs is generally tasked with overseeing that individual’s physical well-being, medical care, and housing. In the majority of cases, it’s a parent (or parents) who will apply to become their adult child’s legal guardian when he or she turns 18. But even parents will ask us if they are able to appoint a “co-guardian,” or someone else who…
With today’s technology, access to information is literally in the palm of our hands. From your cell phone, you can download manuals to repair a washing machine that’s thirty years old or watch step-by-step video tutorials that will teach you how to do anything from knitting a sweater to playing an instrument without taking a single professional lesson. However, just because you can do something yourself doesn’t always mean you should. Special Needs Planning is…
Working with a Special Needs Planning Attorney to create a trust for your child with special needs  is an important part of preparing for his or her future.  In order to make sure that the Special Needs Trust stays relevant to your family’s needs, however, it is important to review it annually.  At this point, you are able to reflect on any changes that have taken place in your life or that of your loved…
Traveling at any time of the year is stressful. But the holidays can present extra challenges for people who travel with someone with special needs, especially when it comes to navigating excessive crowds, full flights, long lines, travel delays, staffing shortages, and overbooked hotels. If you are traveling this year with a loved one who has special needs or a disability that requires extra assistance or care, the following tips can help make your life…
Social Security News:  The Social Security Administration has just announced that full Wednesday service hours will be returning in January 2020. Starting on January 8th, the public can now visit Social Security offices on Wednesdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. This change will take effect at offices nationwide. Previously, offices were only open on Wednesdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and noon, a policy which has been in place since 2012.…
Settling a personal injury lawsuit can take a long time, and it’s no surprise that the end of the process is often met with relief by injured parties who are anxious to collect their award for the pain and suffering they have experienced. Yet for a person who has special needs or disabilities, receiving a personal injury settlement must be done with extreme caution. The following is an overview of information that we discuss with…
Google announced this week that it will soon begin rolling out a new and innovative function on their smartphone devices to help make life easier for those with physical and cognitive disabilities. The feature is called “Action Blocks,” and it will allow users to complete a series of tasks with the push of a single icon from the menu screen.  The icon is then powered by Google Assistant to carry out the custom demand, which…
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…