Cona Elder Law

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SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING

LONG ISLAND SPECIAL NEEDS planning attorneys

Today, nearly 1 out of every 5 people in the United States — 56.7 million  — have a special need or disability according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Government benefits like Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits are critical for individuals with special needs. While these programs are designed to cover the basics, they do not leave room for much more and have strict income and asset eligibility limits. As such, planning for those with special needs is of critical importance.

What happens if a family member wants to leave a loved one with special needs an inheritance? What if the disabled person comes into money, such as proceeds from a lawsuit, or a lump sum payment from Social Security?  The experienced special needs planning attorneys at Cona Elder Law are here to help.

Why Work with a Special Needs Planning Lawyer?

Cona Elder Law is multigenerational in our approach, meaning we look at the big picture when planning for an individual with special needs. We prepare for the continuity of health care and financial decision making as a child with special needs reaches adulthood, and create customized Special Needs Trusts to permit these individuals to retain funds from an inheritance without eliminating or reducing government benefits, such as Medicaid or SSI benefits. Our Long Island Special Needs Planning lawyers will guide you through a Surrogate’s Court 17A Guardianship or Supreme Court Article 81 Guardianship if needed and educate you on the benefits and limitations of an ABLE Account versus a Special Needs Trust. 

At Cona Elder Law, our attorneys carefully listen to your needs and concerns along the journey of creating the plan to best achieve your goals. Our knowledgeable special needs planning attorneys will manage the details so you can focus on enjoying your loved ones.


How Do I Get Started With Special needs planning?

Planning a lifetime of continuous care for your loved one with special needs can be confusing and overwhelming — especially when you're trying to find a good place to start. However, you don't have to do it alone! The special needs planning attorneys at Cona Elder Law are here to help you create a viable plan of your loved one's future.

We provide guidance in establishing goals and determining the right type of trust. We will also secure government benefits, ensuring that you get the best care for your loved one. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to ensure your family is protected for generations to come.  

Disability Application Assistance in new york

Applications for government benefits can be tedious and confusing for the average person. It is very important to be attentive to every detail. However, you don't have to do it alone.

The disability benefits attorneys at Cona Elder Law can provide additional guidance and support to help expedite your approval process. We are an experienced team of advocates in your corner working to ensure you and your loved ones have the best legal representation.

What Are My Options for Special Needs Planning?

Special Needs Trust

The law entitles disabled individuals to keep money in a special trust called a Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust. This is a special type of trust designed only for disabled people to provide extra things that are not paid for by government programs. A Special Needs Trust may maintain for the disabled person an unlimited amount of money without affecting, eliminating or reducing their government benefits.

The Special Needs Trusts can pay for things like:

  • Home modifications
  • Purchase of a home
  • Transportation, including purchase of a car or van
  • Computer equipment
  • Clothing and personal care items
  • Vacations and recreational costs
  • Medical care that is not covered by Medicaid


This type of trust is a viable option in cases involving proceeds from a malpractice or personal injury lawsuit or an inheritance. These proceeds can be deposited into a Supplemental Needs Trust without having a negative impact on government benefit eligibility.   

Pooled Trusts

A Pooled Trust is a type of Supplemental Needs Trust which is administered by a non-profit organization.  The funds are held in an account for the benefit of a person with special needs.

A Pooled Trust can be useful for families who need a corporate or institutional trustee or for Medicaid Home Care recipients who have excess income.

This is good news for you and your loved ones. You can still plan for your loved ones without jeopardizing their government benefits. Since many people with special needs rely on Social Security and Medicaid benefits, this is something that is very important to consider.

The experienced special needs planning attorneys at Cona Elder Law can provide guidance and assistance along the way.

Proper Special Needs Planning Is Critical - Contact Cona Elder Law Today

There are various options available to care for a special needs adult or child, but proper planning is the key to accomplishing your objectives.

The skilled attorneys at Cona Elder Law will act as your advocate in the process. We'll help create a plan so you can rest easier knowing your loved one's future is secure.

 Contact us at 631.619.2533 to learn more.

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