The waitlist for Placer County’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, which helps low-income individuals and families who are struggling to pay rent by providing rental subsidies, will open Oct. 30. From 9 a.m. on Oct. 30 until the waitlist closes at noon on Nov. 9, 2017, qualified residents can complete a pre-application online at www.waitlistcheck.com/CA377 . Then, a computer-generated lottery will be run and 500 applicants will be placed on the waiting list. Income verification will also be required. The pre-application is available in English and Spanish. More information on eligibility requirements can be found here. “With rents skyrocketing, many families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. This program is in high demand, and it’s rare that we can open up the waiting list — so we strongly encourage eligible residents to take advantage of this limited-time opportunity while they can,” said Human Services Director Linda Bridgman. More than half of Placer County residents who rent spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. The Housing Choice Voucher Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and provides a monthly rental subsidy to qualified very low-income households to help make their rent payments. There is limited assistance available. The last time the waiting list opened was in 2014. Paper applications will not be accepted, so residents should seek assistance using a computer if needed. Those with disabilities can contact the Placer County Housing Authority in writing prior to the deadline to request reasonable accommodation for assistance with the application process. There is no charge to apply. Applicants who live or work in Placer County’s jurisdiction — excluding the City of Roseville, which has its own voucher program — or who are elderly, disabled, a low-income family, a veteran or homeless and participating in transitional housing or shelter programs or fleeing a domestic violence situation will receive preference when determining waiting list order. As long as an application is submitted within the open period, the submittal time will not affect waiting list order. Applicants can check to see if they were selected for the waitlist after Dec. 10 at www.waitlistcheck.com . For more information, call 530-889-7676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, attorneys Margaret Heiser Fulton and Ashley Clower attended the 13th Annual Disability Capitol Action Day which was hosted by the Disability Action Coalition. The event is one of California’s largest disability events. There was an educational rally focused on health care and current policy issues impacting people with disabilities. Also, there was a solidarity march to the California State Capitol where persons with disabilities and allies were encouraged to visit with their local legislators. Robinson & Fulton Law had a booth at the Disability Community Resource Fair. It was a gorgeous day and it was amazing to see the community in action for persons with disabilities.
February 17, 2017 – February 18, 2017
Attorneys Margaret Heiser Fulton and Ashley Clower attended the Special Needs Symposium held in Santa Rosa, CA. This two-day event was dedicated to the education of the professionals who plan for persons with disabilities and administer special needs trusts. The seminar was packed with information, presented by leading experts who discussed legal issues, nursing and care issues, public benefits and financial issues. Attorneys, professional fiduciaries, financial planners and families of persons with disabilities were in attendance.
Some of the sessions included: Obtaining and Evaluating Health Care Coverage for Persons with Disabilities; Advocating for Regional Center Services for Clients with Developmental Disabilities; Navigating the SSA Programs of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Childhood Disabled Beneficiary (CDB) Benefits for Special Needs Trust Beneficiaries; Putting Together the Public Benefits Puzzle for Special Needs Trust Beneficiaries; Creating Systems to Properly Administer Special Needs Trusts; Properly Paying for Housing for a Special Needs Trust Beneficiary and Avoiding Unintended Consequences; Properly Paying Caregivers for Special Needs Trust Beneficiaries; and Protecting the Special Needs Trustee when Dealing with Courts, Public Benefit Agencies and Families.
It was a valuable experience to hear from those persons who are “in the trenches”. It was a great networking opportunity to expand our connections so that we can provide our clients options for creating the best team necessary for their loved ones with special needs.
December 13, 2016
Former President Obama signed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act into law effective December 13, 2016. Prior to this act, a disabled person who received a sum of money, i.e., from an injury settlement, was unable to create his or her own special needs trust without the help of a parent, grandparent or guardian. A simple change to the existing statute allows individuals with disabilities, who have capacity, to create their own special needs trusts as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 1396p(d)(4)(A). It is a huge win for persons with disabilities to eliminate the presumption that all individuals with disabilities lack the mental capacity to handle their own financial affairs. There have been incredible advocacy efforts of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) to make this legislation happen. You can see NAELA materials here.
Because of this legislation, there will no longer be a need for disabled persons with capacity to have to petition the Court to have their settlement proceeds placed into a special needs trust. Now there will be less out of pocket costs for injured persons, less involvement with other family members, and less time spent in the process of trying to finalize the person with a disability’s settlement. A person with a disability will be now be able to set up a special needs trust to receive his or her settlement funds while still being able to keep important needs-based public benefits, such as Medi-Cal or SSI.
The new Act only adds two words to the existing statute. “The individual” has been added to the list of persons authorized to establish a special needs trust as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 1396p(d)(4)(A), in addition to a parent, grandparent, guardian, or the Court.
The new Act reads as follows and can be viewed here:
(a) In General.—Section 1917(d)(4)(A) of the Social Security Act 42 U.S.C. 1396p(d)(4)(A) is amended by inserting “the individual,” after “for the benefit of such individual by”.
(b) Effective Date.—The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply to trusts established on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.