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Aid for disabled bill advances in Colorado Senate

Disabled Colorado residents and the loved ones who care for them have a friend in the Democratic senator who hails from Fort Collins.

The senator's proposed bill, "The Aid to the Needy Disabled," recently won a second round of voice voting in the Senate, where perhaps surprisingly, it received some bipartisan support from the fiscally conservative Republican senator who represents Loveland.

In this political climate, it is rare to see Republicans voicing support to so-called "entitlement bills," but the senator from Loveland even gave a short speech urging passage of the bill intended to provide supportive services for "(i)ndividuals who are poor, disabled, unable to work and awaiting SSI and ineligible for other state assistance programs." The bill also includes provisions for the homeless.

"I do believe in a role for the government to provide a safety net for the most needy," the Republican senator said in his brief speech to his legislative colleagues.

While passage of this bill will provide some needed governmental assistance to the low income handicapped, there are still many gaps in the safety net offered by both the state and federal systems. If you have a loved one with serious physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities, one frequent worry is what will happen to your loved one after your death.

Fortunately, there are provisions you can put in place now to insure their continued care. Long term care planning for your loved one may include a special needs trust or asset protection that you can arrange ahead of time.

A Colorado estate planning attorney can assess your individual situation and offer suggestions for you to protect the medical needs of your loved one while providing fiduciary guidance.

Source: The Colorado Independent, "Bills passing fast; guvs drop by to honor ‘Johnny Van’" John Tomasic, Apr. 21, 2014

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