Friday, 31 October 2014 14:13

When (and How) to Create a Special Needs Trust

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A Special Needs Trust is one that is designed to supplement the government benefits that your disabled child receives. Because of this, they are sometimes referred to as Supplemental Needs Trusts.

As a child grows up, a parent’s biggest financial concern might be saving for college. But it might be wise to look ahead even further to help ensure your son or daughter is financially prepared for their future.

As a parent, the last thing you want is for your child’s disability to affect his or her ability to succeed in the classroom. Along with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ensures that schools receiving or benefiting from federal funding support the educational needs of a student who may have a disability that affects one or more major life activities, including, but not limited to: learning, speaking and listening, concentration, reading and writing, personal care.

The “Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance,” or PLAAFP, is the first written statement in the IEP plan should document of a child's ability and current achievement at the time the IEP is written.

The use of seclusion and restraint in schools for disciplinary and safety reasons is a difficult issue, especially in regards to severely disabled children. Part of the problem is that there is very little statutory or regulatory authority regarding what is permissible and what tools are available to educators in emergency situations. In fact, neither federal law nor the law of New Jersey contains guidance on this important issue.

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