Having a child with special needs can be very expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are funds available to assist families. It is also important to plan ahead and put certain pieces in place early on to ensure that if something happens to you, your child will be cared for and have the means to survive.

Put Together Your Financial Plan

Get the right guidance. Choose financial services professionals, attorneys and CPAs who have the knowledge and experience to serve the special needs community.

Create a Life Care Plan. A Life Care Plan is a comprehensive plan that incorporates basic needs, goals and strategies for achieving the best quality of life in every area of life now and for the long term.

Include yourself in your plan. Ensure that siblings and parents are cared for, too. A careful financial protection strategy should incorporate the entire family.

Make an estate plan. Some families may be interested in tax-saving advantages, establishing a third-party trust for the person with special needs, providing inheritances for their other children and more. The complexity of one’s estate plan depends on his/her financial situation. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE) states that its purpose is to (1) encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life; and (2) provide secure funding for disability-related expenses of beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) and title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. Learn more about the ABLE Act.

Source: Planning Now: A Guide for Parents of Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Americans Live With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
of Children Have Been Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability