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Caring for children with special needs can be a challenge, involving added expense, effort, and complications to the typical hurdles that go with raising any child. When those children become adults, or if an adult otherwise becomes disabled due to illness or injury, the attendant costs and challenges are multiplied. Thankfully, we are no longer in an era in which adults with special needs are automatically institutionalized; government assistance programs exist to help provide for adults with special needs and to help them live as normal a life as is feasible. In fact, federal courts have ruled that adults receiving government benefits for special needs must be housed in the least restrictive setting possible, given their particular needs. Continue reading for a discussion of housing options for adults with disabilities and other special needs. Call a seasoned West Palm Beach Medicaid planning and elder law attorney for assistance with special needs planning or with any estate planning questions.
If an adult with special needs has care requirements that are manageable by non-medical personnel, and there are family members ready and willing to help, the adult can reside with their parents or other family members. Living at home with family does not preclude governmental benefits. In fact, in many cases, the family can obtain Medicaid funds to pay the family members who provide care for adult children in their own homes.
Living with parents might not be ideal or feasible in all cases, however. The person’s needs might be greater than can be reasonably handled by the parents; skilled medical care could be necessary. Also, it may be more beneficial for the person to live outside of the home in order to engage with non-family members socially. An adult may simply grow weary of living at home after reaching adulthood and prefer to live apart. There are other options available for special needs adults as well.
Individuals whose needs are more manageable may be able to live on their own, regardless of developmental disabilities. They may be responsible for their own rent and bills or receive assistance from other parties. They may also elect to receive support from independent living services or supported living services to help with certain needs. Support services can include anything from grocery shopping and providing transportation to helping with budgeting, paying bills, and problem-solving.
Special needs trusts can be established to either own homes outright and rent to family members with special needs, or to pay rent on behalf of family members with special needs. The trust may also be used to pay for services to help the beneficiary live independently. Establishing and maintaining a special needs trust requires jumping through certain legal hoops and satisfying a number of specific requirements.
Some individuals with special needs may choose to live in group homes with several other people with special needs. These homes may be staffed with counselors and other workers ready to help tenants with anything they need. Residents may live on their own or have live-in assistance, depending on the nature of their needs. Group homes can be paid for privately or through governmental programs. Group homes are a wonderful option for individuals who are not self-sufficient but who do not need advanced or round-the-clock care.
If an individual needs extensive, round-the-clock care, then they might need to live in a skilled nursing facility. Nursing homes are typically no family’s first choice, but they could be necessary for individuals who need access to medical professionals and specialized care at all times. Often, a person with special needs and limited assets will be eligible for Medicaid, which covers the cost of nursing home care. Proper planning can help individuals qualify for Medicaid and still keep their money or receive financial gifts from others.
A dedicated West Palm Beach elder law attorney can help you and your family plan appropriately to provide for family members with special needs, qualify for needs-based governmental programs, and to explore all of your options for long-term care. If you are in need of an experienced and thorough Florida asset protection and elder law attorney, contact the experienced West Palm Beach elder law attorneys Shalloway & Shalloway at 561-686-6200.