This special needs service is intended to help you recognize and understand which public resources are available to your family and your child with special needs. More importantly, it helps you to access these funds by guiding you through the application process for these public resources. We also work with clients to help them achieve economic self-sufficiency, and provide guidance as to how earnings can affect government benefits Download Government Benefit 

At M&L Special Needs Planning, we are considered experts in the area of government benefit counseling. We help with understanding what the government benefits are and how they relate to a specific individual with disabilities. We work with families in the application process for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).

In addition, we guide clients toward their financail independence by showing them the advantages of working and increasing earnings. This will aid clients with gradually decreasing their dependance on disability benefits and eventually achieving economic self-sufficiency. Among other issues we assist with the following challenges:

  • Understanding SSA benefits and other public benefits. What is SSI/Medicaid & SSDI/Medicare?
  • How do you apply for SSI and/or SSDI and what documents should be submitted to Social Security?
  • What are the resource limits and the definition of disability per SSA?
  • Pre-employment consulting, education, information and a Benefits Summary & Analysis – basically learning how your work situation affects your SSA benefits.
  • How do you keep Medicaid when you lose SSI and/or Medicare with SSDI? What is a Medicaid Buy-In Program?
  • Keeping up-to-date on current federal, state, and local benefits.
  • Creating a Written Work Incentives Analysis and/or Plan – helping beneficiaries claim their independence with information about SSA work incentives
  • Assisting with earnings reporting to SSA and other relevant life circumstances.
  • Assisting with requests for reconsideration and appealing denied benefits claims.
  • Staying current regarding benefits changes while working.
  • Continuing follow-up support available for benefits counseling and work incentive through all stages of employment.
  • Offering education and training to beneficiaries, families, support circles, and community partners regarding benefits counseling and work incentive planning.
  • What is a special needs trust and how does that relate to government benefit counseling?

As the direction of Social Security programs become more uncertain it is important to connect with a firm that has their finger on the pulse and can reach out to families with all latest changes and news.

Maedi Tanham Carney, CFP is a Certified Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC). A Certified Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC) provides work incentives planning and assistance directly to beneficiaries with disabilities to assist them in their employment efforts. CWICs will also conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries with disabilities (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in Federal or State work incentives programs. CWICs also provide general information on the adequacy of health benefits coverage that may be offered by an employer of a beneficiary with a disability; the extent to which other health benefits coverage may be available to that beneficiary in coordination with Medicare and/or Medicaid; and the availability of protection and advocacy services for beneficiaries with disabilities and how to access such services.

The Social Security Disability benefit programs is an area of special needs planning that is intensely confusing and can be very frustrating to families. If the families understands how the government benefits work than they can be proactive when any changes occur for the individual with disability. If the family works with M&L we keep in close contact with the family to educate why things happen and what to do about it.