Planning for Life

Choosing a Trustee for A Child’s Special Needs Trust

Posted by Karen Mariscal on November 7, 2017

by Karen B. Mariscal

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Topics: trusts, special needs planning, special needs, Special Needs Child, Special Needs Trust, trustee

How the Differences between SSI and SSDI Can Impact Financial Planning for Your Special Needs Child

Posted by Anthony Bushu on February 22, 2017

By Karen Mariscal 

Financial Planning for Your Special Needs Child: SSI and SSDI

Parents of children with special needs should understand the U.S. government’s two different income support programs: SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). These programs both provide cash to disabled people who cannot be gainfully employed, via monthly checks. There is a lot of confusion about the difference between the two programs. Although SSI and SSDI both provide supplemental income to disabled people, and have similar names, they are completely different programs.

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Topics: financial planning, special needs, Special Needs Child, SSI, SSDI

Making Sure the Inheritance for Your Special Needs Child Doesn't Disappear

Posted by Anthony Bushu on February 15, 2017

By Karen Mariscal 

How can you protect the inheritance for your special needs child?  One way is through a supplemental needs trust.  A supplemental needs trust is a special type of trust that both provides management of money for the disabled beneficiary, and maintains the beneficiary’s eligibility for government services. 

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Topics: trusts, asset protection, special needs

WellesleyWeston Magazine Publishes Mariscal Opinion

Posted by Karen B. Mariscal on September 5, 2016

Margolis & Bloom would like to thank the WellesleyWeston Magazine for publishing our opinion on the need for legal accessory apartments for the disabled and elderly in Massachusetts.  The piece, Keeping our Special Needs Children and Elderly Close, was written by Karen B. Mariscal, Esq., with help from Cathy Boyle of Autism Housing Pathways.
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Topics: special needs

Get On It! The Centralized Section 8 Waiting List

Posted by Karen Mariscal on June 14, 2016

By Karen Mariscal

On the day your intellectually disabled child turns 18, give yourself a birthday present – put him or her on the Section 8 waiting list.  The Section 8 housing choice voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.  In the Boston area it usually takes 8-10 years to get a voucher, starting from the day you first submit the pre-application. 

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Topics: special needs planning, housing policy ,, special needs

The History of Autism – A Disease, a Disability, or Another Mode of Normalcy?

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on February 1, 2016

By Karen B. Mariscal

We realize it is a little odd to review a book review.  But Steven Shapin’s review of the new autism book, In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker, published in the January 25, 2016 issue of The New Yorker, here, is exceptional.  Shapin uses his review to provide a brief survey of the history of autism, and how we have come to understand it, that is the best we have seen.  Shapin explains that a major focus of Donvan and Zucker’s book is on autism in the family and the changing historical role of parents of autistic children.  Here is an excerpt from the review:

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Topics: autism, special needs

Understanding Desperation: Parents of Special Needs Children Who Do the Unthinkable

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on December 10, 2015

By Karen B. Mariscal

On Sunday, December 6, the New York Times Magazine published a heartbreaking article, here, about Frank Stack of Elmhurst, Illinois, the father of two severely disabled adult children, and the husband of a dying wife. Over Labor Day weekend in 2014, Frank shot all three in the head and then killed himself.  It is clear from everyone who knew him that Frank thought he was acting out of love.  His children had very low intelligence and needed constant care, and he was getting to the point where he could no longer look after them.  Frank was 82 and had a bad back.  He had spent 50 years caring for his disabled children.  Although they recently had been living in group homes, Frank remained very much involved. 

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Topics: caregiving, special needs

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