Your Child is now an adult.
Federal Government Benefits Are Now Available
Prior to a child turning age 18, eligibility for his/her Government benefits is based upon the parent’s income and assets. In many cases, the parent’s level of income and assets will disqualify the child’s eligibility for benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.
Although you do not have to utilize government benefits, maximizing eligibility for them should be paramount in your overall plan regardless of your child’s current abilities and/or your current financial status. It is important not to eliminate any options or jeopardize the potential receipt of benefits by improper planning.
UNIQUE PLANNING REQUIREMENTS
Implement guardianship or a less restrictive alternative to guardianship if your child is not able to make decisions on his or her own.
In the event that your child’s assets are in excess of $2,000 and they would not financially qualify for SSI and/or Medicaid, you should contact a Financial Advisor, CFP ™ and an attorney knowledgeable in government benefits eligibility to discuss options of spending down the assets or transferring them to a Special Needs Trust prior to applying for benefits.
Have you begun to discuss with your school system the aspects of transitioning your child to the adult service world? Attend as many educational training workshops that you can and learn as much as you can now.
Do you know which government agency (or agencies) your child will be or should be receiving services and/or resources from? You should identify the primary government agency that will be responsible for meeting the needs of your child upon their turning age 22 (or the age that they are no longer entitled to education services). Find out about the assessment process and requirements for obtaining services.
Does your local government provide services directly or do they hire local agencies to provide such services? Get to know the various service providers who may be available for your child’s needs. This is a good time to speak with them about their residential and vocational services. Serve as a member of the Board of Directors of an agency and/or advocacy group and get to know how the system works.
If your vision is to ultimately own a home where your son or daughter will live, now is a good time to begin to explore the real estate market in the area that you desire. The sooner you can begin to build equity in a second home, the more financially stable you will be as you approach your retirement years. In some situations, rental property can be an ideal way to secure a residence for your child.