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By: Sipi Gupta | September 02, 2019

For more of the latest news and information, follow @sipiguptalaw on Facebook and Instagram and @sipigupta on LinkedIn.  Below is a sampling of recent posts.


Law Guides Public Use of Service Dogs

Businesses are required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to permit access by service animals.


Making Medical Decisions for Someone Else

Making medical choices for another person is a weighty responsibility. Read suggested considerations when making such decisions.


Youth Nursing Homes for Children With Disabilities

Learn about the various placement and childcare options for children with profound disabilities.

By: Sipi Gupta | May 20, 2019

There are many federal government benefit programs available to individuals with disabilities. Programs are often referred to by confusing acronyms (LIHEAP, SNAP, QMB, to name just a few) and some programs are very different but sound similar (for instance, Medicare and Medicaid or SSI and SSDI). Stop in each week for a spotlight on a different benefit program. Today, we take a look at TANF.


Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

Benefit:  Cash assistance to families with minor children; child care subsidy while parent works or is in school.  Parents with disabilities may receive this benefit for minor child in family

Asset Limit:  Each state sets limits within federal guidelines, usually more restrictive than SSI asset limits

In...

By: Sipi Gupta | May 16, 2019

Until a child reaches age 18, parents are their natural and legal guardians and have the legal authority to make medical, financial, and other decisions for their children. Most school personnel and health care providers will not question the authority of a parent of a minor child to make decisions, recommendations, and participate in all of the areas where a child needs to be represented. At age 18, an individual is presumed to have full capacity, unless otherwise proven.  As a  special needs child nears his or her 18th birthday, parents often wonder whether guardianship over their child is the best recourse. The short answer to this question is, “maybe.” At Gupta Law Firm we counsel against a knee-jerk reaction to pursue a guard...

By: Sipi Gupta | May 13, 2019

There are many federal government benefit programs available to individuals with disabilities. Programs are often referred to by confusing acronyms (LIHEAP, SNAP, QMB, to name just a few) and some programs are very different but sound similar (for instance, Medicare and Medicaid or SSI and SSDI). Stop in each week for a spotlight on a different benefit program. Today, we take a look at Adoption Assistance.

Benefit:  Cash benefit to parents who adopt special needs children
Asset Limit:  None
Income Limit:  None
Comments:  Amount of the benefit and term of the benefit varies with each state and the child's needs

By: Sipi Gupta | April 25, 2019

These concerts allow sensory-sensitive patrons to engage with the music and the concert hall on their own terms!!  https://www.philorch.org/relaxed-SAA#/


Relaxed Sensory Friendly Performances

What is a Relaxed Sensory Friendly Performance?

Relaxed performances are designed to provide a concert experience that is welcoming, inclusive, and comfortable for children and families with sensory sensitivities, as well as anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment.

Our aim is to create a safe and accepting environment where children, including those on the autism spectrum and with other developmental disabilities, and their families can experience live music together. The Academy of Music’s Ballroom—with its comfy carpet-floor (...

By: Sipi Gupta | April 22, 2019

There are many federal government benefit programs available to individuals with disabilities. Programs are often referred to by confusing acronyms (LIHEAP, SNAP, QMB, to name just a few) and some programs are very different but sound similar (for instance, Medicare and Medicaid or SSI and SSDI). Stop in each week for a spotlight on a different benefit program. Today, we take a look at CDB:

Child Disability Benefit

Benefit:  Cash benefit for child of deceased, disabled, or retired parent who paid into social security

Asset Limit:  None

Income Limit: None

Comments:  Child must be at least 18 years old, disabled before age 22, and not married unless to a social security beneficiary

By: Sipi Gupta | January 03, 2018

Awareness of the need for all-access playgrounds continuing to rise. Check out this one in South Jersey!  And, read more about the movement to create more boundless playgrounds for kids here.

Category: Kids 

Tags: good news, disability, kids 

By: Sipi Gupta | May 11, 2017

The challenges of being a child with special needs, or the parent of one, are fairly well known and documented. Less talked about and often ignored is the experience of being the sibling of someone with special needs.  The role can bring with it a confusion of emotions, including frustration, anger, pride, shame, competitiveness, protectiveness, and a sense of having been abandoned in favor of someone with seemingly greater needs.  All of these feelings are explored and dealt with in a new comic book, “Adventures From My World,” conceived and written by a New Jersey teenager named Julie Averbach.

The 20-page comic book presents six illustrated stories of children confronting the challenges of having a sibling with special...

Category: Kids 

Tags: special needs, good news, kids 

By: Sipi Gupta | March 28, 2017

Earned Income Credit

The amount of the parents "earned" income credit may be increased if there are minor or adult special needs children in the household.

The earned income credit allows lower-income taxpayers to take a certain percentage of their earned income as a refundable credit against the income tax. The earned income credit is determined in part by the number of a taxpayer's qualifying children. 

The earned income credit is phased out as a taxpayer's earned income increases. 

The term "qualifying child" is based on the definition under § 152. For purposes of the earned income credit, however, the support limitation does not apply, the family must live in the U.S., and the child cannot be married. Thus, an ...

By: Sipi Gupta | March 17, 2017

Taxpayers are allowed deductions for their spouses and their dependents.

Especially pertinent to lower- and middle-income taxpayers, the dependency deduction is allowed regardless of whether a taxpayer itemizes deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040.


By: Sipi Gupta | February 11, 2017

The Department of Defense now allows assignment of military Survivor Benefit Plans (SBP) to a valid d4A special needs trust for a dependent disabled child. Previously, military members and retirees may have been advised to NOT designate a child with a disability as the beneficiary under such a plan. The new law allows SBP payments to be paid to a self-settled trust without jeopardizing an individual’s SSI / Medicaid benefits. Any such assignment must be irrevocable in order to qualify.

More information is available at the Military OneSource Special Needs page.