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 [email protected].
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.
When your child reaches age eighteen, your son or daughter is legally an adult. Adulthood, for all persons, brings legal rights and responsibilities. An adult can legally enter into a contract and make medical decisions. Moms and dads, including the author of this article, are surprised to learn that, after they have made decisions for their child for eighteen years, now medical providers ask them to leave the room during doctor’s appointments and are no longer able to share information with them. This situation can be even more challenging for the parents of a child with special needs. Before your disabled child turns eighteen, it is important to determine whether a parent should continue to be involved in her financial and medical decisions. Will a court conservatorship be necessary, or will there be a less expensive and less restrictive option which will allow parents and others to continue to participate in decision-making? There are several alternatives to consider.
If the disabled person has sufficient capacity to understand and execute documents, she can sign powers of attorney to allow an agent, such as a parent, to handle health and financial affairs without court supervision. In California there are two types of powers of attorney: one which deals with finances, and another which deals with health. By signing a financial power of attorney, the adult child can give a parent or other trusted person the authority to make financial decisions for her. The power of attorney can be effective while the person with disabilities has capacity, or it can become effective at a future time when the individual loses capacity. A health care power of attorney, also called an advance directive, gives a parent or other individual the ability to make heath care decisions for the adult child. In addition, the adult child with sufficient capacity can sign a HIPAA authorization which will permit parents or other individuals to access the child’s health records and other medical information. Of course, with the young adult’s consent, parents or others can always informally assist her in making her own independent medical and financial decisions.
If the person with a disability does not have the capacity to understand and sign documents, it may be necessary to establish a court conservatorship. Before authorizing the establishment of a conservatorship, the court must determine that a conservatorship is the “least restrictive alternative” for making decisions for the disabled person. There are two kinds of conservatorships. A regular conservatorship gives the court-appointed conservator full decision- making powers. Limited conservatorships are similar to regular conservatorships, except they are only established for developmentally disabled adults. A limited conservator’s duty is to help the limited conservatee develop self-reliance and independence. The judge will only give the limited conservator powers to do things the disabled person cannot do without help.
If a conservatorship is necessary, it’s a good idea to start the process well before the disabled person’s eighteenth birthday. An estate planning and special needs attorney can help you evaluate your child’s individual situation and arrive at the appropriate arrangement for your child.
Article was written for Sacramento Parent. You can view it here.
On August 5, 2016, attorneys Margaret Heiser Fulton and Ashley Clower attended UC Davis Mind Institute’s Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Over 200 people attended the conference. Participants included medical professionals, social workers, parents of children with disabilities, and educators. Ms. Fulton and Ms. Clower were the only attorneys to attend as guests. The keynote speaker was Andrew Imparato, the Executive Director of the Association of University Centers on Developmental Disabilities. He spoke about disability policy on a national level and his work to create bipartisan support for improving education and employment opportunities for people with disabilities and moving people with disabilities into integrated settings in the community. One of the workshops we found especially interesting was a discussion of “supported decision making” as an alternative to conservatorships.
Attending this MIND institute conference allowed us to get invaluable insight into the policies and changes occurring in the disability community, and helped us to better understand the issues faced by special needs families.
Margaret Heiser Fulton attended the 10th annual meeting of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, held in Tucson, Arizona, March 10-12, 2016. The 235-member Academy is the nation’s leading organization of special needs planning professionals. Members of the Academy devote a significant part of their practices to working with individuals with special needs and their families to plan for the future and ensure that children with special needs receive ample financial protection.
The Academy’s annual meeting featured presentations by some of the nation’s leading experts in special needs planning, who kept attendees current on the latest regulatory changes and legal decisions and shared strategies for better serving clients and their families in this fast-growing legal field. Meeting sessions included “An Update on SSI Rules,” “Special Needs Trusts and Retirement Benefits,” “Recent Trends in Special Needs Planning,” “Identifying and Handling ‘Tricky Issues’ in SNT Administration,” as well as an “Ask the Experts” panel discussion. Perhaps most importantly, the meeting afforded the chance for attendees to exchange planning ideas and strategies with fellow members working in special needs planning around the nation.
This year’s meeting was held concurrently with the Society of Settlement Planners, giving attendees invaluable insights into how to best work with these key players in the special needs arena.