Last week, the National Council on Disability, or NCD, an independent federal agency, released its second major report on guardianship for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, sometimes shortened to ID/DD. If we could pull an overarching theme from the report’s 100-plus pages, it may be that we need to step back as a country and take a hard look at whether guardianship is automatically the right protective device for a given person with ID/DD.
Of course, from the time a child is born, his or her parents want to provide love, resources and support to help their son or daughter thrive in life. We recently talked in this space about the use of virtual reality to enrich, teach and calm people with autism and other intellectual disabilities.
According to the Virtual Reality Society, “virtual reality” is a “three-dimensional, [computer-generated] environment [that] can be explored and interacted with by a person.” VRS reports that virtual reality is usually created using a variety of technology like headsets, specialized gloves and treadmills.
At Chayet & Danzo, LLC, we regularly advise and counsel parents of children with special needs, including autism. When a child is diagnosed with a developmental disability like autism, the parents should consult a lawyer experienced in legal issues related to people with disabilities.
As we recently discussed, March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day. The date has significance because people with Down syndrome have three copies of chromosome 21, instead of the usual two. Here in Colorado, the day was marked by an annual celebration at the state Capitol that included the governor and lieutenant governor.
On December 4, the IRS issued a Newswire about new ABLE accounts that benefit adults with disabilities and changes from recent federal tax reform. In September, we posted a blog about ABLE accounts, explaining that they were created as a vehicle for saving money to benefit disabled adults that would not put them in jeopardy of having too many assets to qualify for the major public-benefits programs that operate as their lifelines — namely Medicaid (Health First Colorado) and Supplemental Security Income or SSI through the federal Social Security Administration or SSA.
For years, to preserve eligibility for Supplemental Security Income or SSI, a federal government cash benefit, and the federal-state Medicaid program -- called Health First Colorado in our state -- people with disabilities have had to remain relatively impoverished. Usually, this has meant not exceeding $2,000 in countable assets.
At Chayet & Danzo LLC, one of our foremost professional goals is to help families with children or other relatives who have autism or other intellectual or developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome or Fragile X syndrome. We provide guidance and legal services to these clients to help them protect their loved ones in areas of legal, financial, physical and personal vulnerability.
The sandwich generation refers to those caring for their children/grandchildren and elderly parents. The number of families in this category will likely increase as the baby boom generation ages and millennial couples delay starting their own families.
Recently, two large chalkboards were propped against the wall next to Purple Door Coffee in the Five Points neighborhood. The question posed was not typical coffee shop fare. Written across the top, the sentence started, “Before I die I want to….”