FREEMAN LAW OFFICES, LLC
Watching family members with disabilities struggle through life is difficult.
You want to help them succeed but you are not sure how you can help. You
reach out to your local school district for support, only to be told that
everything is fine in school. You reach out to state agencies for other
supports, but do not get a response. You name your family member as a
beneficiary of a retirement account or life insurance policy, but you
are then advised that was not right either.
Almost exclusively in advocating for individuals with disabilities, Freeman
Law Offices, LLC is able to rely on personal and professional expertise
to provide a one stop shop to assist you in navigating this process at
every stage of life. We do the work for you so you can spend more time
enjoying each other instead of trying to make sense of it all.
School districts have a legal obligation to ensure that all students with
disabilities who reside in their locale are properly identified, evaluated
and provided with the necessary supports to enable them to make meaningful
progress in their education program. This usually consists of developing
an individualized education plan ("IEP") or Section 504 accommodation
plan ("Section 504 plan") designed to help students make and
maintain progress toward their social, emotional and academic goals across
environments, from early intervention through high school.
The obligations of post-secondary institutions in special education are
quite different from the local high schools. Students are no longer identified
as a student who may need extra assistance; they must bring their disability
to the attention of the college boards or universities. Upon doing so,
individuals with disabilities are entitled to those accommodations that
"level the playing field" or close the barriers to success.
These requirements apply to the classroom, standardized assessments and
As children with more severe disabilities transition into adulthood, it
is vital to put the tools and supports in place to enable loved ones to
live independent, healthy and happy lives to the extent they are able.
While there are often waitlists, these services can be provided by state
agencies at no cost to families. For this reason, it is important to be
proactive and start this process as soon as possible to ensure the services
are in place when needed.
Children are legally considered adults when they reach the age of majority
which is usually at 18 years of age. With limited exceptions, this means
that they are free to act on their own accord without regard to the severity
of their disability. In order to continue making decisions for him or
her, it is important that the caretaker apply for guardianship to the Court.
With certain exceptions, individuals with mental illness, developmental
and/or cognitive disabilities will only be eligible for SSI and/or Medicaid
benefits if their resources are below $2000. For this reason, it is important
to review your Will to ensure it is not designed in such a way that will
jeopardize these entitlements after your death. Through the use of a Special
Needs Trust however, caretakers can leave assets to the individual with
special needs to ensure they are well cared for later in life.
People with disabilities and their families often have a right to access
health insurance coverage to pay for many types of medical and mental
health services. In fact, health insurance can be a key resource that
can close funding gaps between the services parents want to provide their
child and what is actually negotiated with a school district or allowed
under state and federal programs. It is important that families: identify
whether they have insurance coverage for the relevant therapy or treatment;
submit claims timely; and use proper diagnosis and treatment codes on
their claims. When claims are denied, delayed or underpaid, it is even
more important to determine the basis of such discrepancies and respond
with sufficient documentation that will support a successful and timely appeal.
Freeman Law Offices, LLC is committed to providing critical information
about the rights of children and adults with disabilities to groups throughout
New Jersey and Pennsylvania upon request.
Call to schedule a consultation today by calling (888) 383-3037 or visit
one of our office locations nearest you.
Contact a New Jersey special needs lawyer from the firm today to get started on your case!