M&L Workshop Schedule: Fall 2014 and Winter 2015
Thursday, August 14th 2014
Hey everyone! We hope that you are all having an amazing summer – here at M&L we have been so busy that the last few months have flown by! It feels like yesterday we were celebrating the arrival of spring, and now we are eagerly anticipating the cool, crisp days of fall.
Perhaps a tiny part of our anticipation for the fall months can be attributed to the fact that we recently spent some time on our schedule planning for the fall. We have a lot of incredible projects lined up, including making significant progress on our special needs housing development project – but today we would like to share with you our workshop schedule for the fall of 2014 and winter of 2015!
M&L Workshop Series
Special Needs Planning is an incredibly complex process that can change significantly from family to family, and from year to year. As parents of children with special needs (and professionals in the special needs sector), M&L staff have a thorough understanding of the demands on the time of parents of special needs families. That’s why, in the early days of M&L, we developed a series of workshops designed to impart important and reliable information on a variety of topics related to special needs planning in a timely, concise, and relevant fashion. That way, parents can choose to attend topics that suit their situation, and meet other advisers who can help them.
Understanding Government Benefits SSI & SSDI
Dates: Tuesday, September 16th 2014 & Wednesday, January 14th 2015
The staff of M&L understands that navigating through the complex world of government benefits SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) can be tricky, time consuming, and overwhelming. Often, due to the lack of clarity in instructions, (and a lack of clarity in government language) families often apply for these benefits with incomplete information and/or make errors during the application process. Unfortunately, this can lead to delays in receiving your benefits – sometimes this can take years to fix!
This workshop is designed to help families reach a greater understanding of the types of government benefits programs available, and the help families avoid making mistakes during the application process that lead to delays. The benefits are explained in clear, concise language – we spend time discussing what exactly the government benefits and programs are, their importance, when to apply, how to apply, how to qualify, and how much money the individual with special needs may possibly receive. We will discuss the process of transitioning between SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income), and how to keep Medicaid and/or Medicare without the government benefits of SSI or SSDI. We also briefly touch on work incentives, and how they assist beneficiaries with their employment efforts.
As bizarre as it may sound, the staff of M&L absolutely love talking about and helping families secure these government benefits. In fact, we have 100% success rate in helping families apply for these benefits in 2013 and so far in 2014! Please register for this workshop so that we can share with you some of the tips that we have learned through our experience (both professional and personal) with applying for these benefits. Please click here to register, or contact M&L for more information. As well, you may wish to visit our blog archive to read all of our published posts that focus on these benefits.
Navigating the Financial World of the Family with Special Needs
Dates: Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 & Wednesday, February 18th, 2015
Many people often ask us, “What is the key to special needs planning?” Well, there is no easy answer to that question; each family is unique, with individual goals and challenges, resources and expenses. As such, it is impossible to come with a one size fits all solution, or “guide to” special needs planning. Having said that, there are a few tips that every family with special needs should keep in mind while planning –
Navigating the Financial World of the Family with Special Needs is a workshop that is designed to address this question, and to provide valuable information (including these tips) to families with special needs.
In addition to providing these planning tips, this workshop also serves another important purpose: it covers topics that can often be uncomfortable to consider, but are essential to any sort of financial or legal plan for the future. For example, we discuss providing for the individual with special needs after the parents are gone, i.e. through insurance concepts, special needs trust, and housing opportunities. Planning for the financial (and other) ramifications of “solo care” in the event of a death of a spouse/partner is explored; we also touch on legal and estate issues, the Special Needs Trust (and the funding of this trust), as well as the Letter of Intent.
Finally, we discuss how completing our Comprehensive Special Needs Financial Life Plan will enable you to be proactive in planning for the entire family’s financial future. Please contact M&L to register or for more information.
Roadmap for Transitioning Planning
Dates: Wednesday, November 12th 2014 & Wednesday, April 8th 2015
For those of you who may not be aware, transitioning is an incredibly important stage in the life of a young adult with disabilities. The phrase “transitioning” refers to the period of time when the individual prepares to leave high school and enter the adult world – this is also a time of uncertainly, and perhaps anxiety, as both parents and child look forward to the unknown and make decisions that can influence the future of the individual with disabilities.
The Roadmap for Transitioning Planning workshop is designed to help parents demystify and simplify this process; the seminar helps families understand the terms involved, how to ensure that their children is involved in the transitioning planning stage of the process, and how to plan for the child to engage in adult activities, such as living independently, finding employment, and having a fulfilling social, recreational and community life.
This workshop will focus on helping individuals residing in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas navigate through this time in their child’s life. As well, parents will learn about the different post-secondary options available to individuals with special needs, and will have an opportunity to discuss examples of post-secondary options available in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia with the workshop coordinator.
All of the presentations are comprehensive, but due to the complex nature of transitioning, the “Transitioning Planning & A Discussion of Post-Secondary Options” seminar is perhaps the most detailed in the series. Attendees will certainly learn a lot from this presentation, and will walk away with a clearer understanding of the transitioning process, and how to help their child with special needs successfully journey through the process.
Integrated Living Opportunities Non-Profit Housing Seminar
Date: Wednesday, May 15th, 2015
As many of you may be aware, M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC has partnered with Center for Independent Futures and a group of core families to create integrated and inclusive communities and housing in Maryland. We also have plans for creating integrated and inclusive communities and housing in Washington, D.C. and eventually Virginia. This workshop focuses on how we are forming and implementing community partnerships and the different housing structure possible, as well as providing attendees with information on costs, funding options, service providers and state attitudes towards various housing models.
This presentation is new to our roster, and as such we are still putting it together and deciding how to present the information most effectively. Please stay tuned to this blog over the coming months, as we will devote a post to the topic and provide you with more information as to exactly what this presentation will cover, and how it will benefit your family with special needs. If you would like more information on this topic now, or would like to register in advance, please contact M&L.
Thanks so much for dropping by our blog this week! We hope that one of these workshops sparks your interest, and we get to meet you in person. Please don’t hesitate to check out the other workshop topics we offer – if you would like for us to present any of the above workshops, or a workshop on another topic, please do not hesitate to contact us! We are willing to travel. From all of us to all of you, have a great week!
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