Children grow up, leave school and move into their adult lives. The find jobs, pursue their preferred social and recreational activities, develop new relationships and generally grow to live more and more independently of their family, even while retaining family ties. Children with disabilities are no different, except for the fact that they often need additional supports and resources to achieve these end goals.
There are many resources to understand and consider. Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a federal means-tested benefit has one set of eligibility criteria and operates according to a certain set of rules. Other federal benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Social Security Childhood Disability Benefits or Disabled Adult Child Benefits (CDB or DAC) and Medicare have different criteria and different rules. The various pathways to Medicaid eligibility in the state of Illinois and the various Medicaid waivers that fund adult services in the state have their own unique criteria and rules. Simply put, there are a lot of moving parts.
At Clancy and associates, our life planning services accompany your loved one with a disability and you through three stages:
- Developing the vision. We help you think through what sort of adult life will best suit your family member with a disability. We consider whether they are working or would like to work, what they like to do when they are not working, where they would like to live and with whom, with which communities and individuals then want to maintain ties, what transportation they need and other factors.
- Clarifying the resources. We help you understand what public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicare, Medicaid and the various Medicaid waivers, may be available to your family member with a disability. We educate your family member and you on how to apply for these benefits and how your family member’s eligibility for and use of the benefits may change over time.
- Building the plan. We now know what your family members wants for an adult life. We have determined which public benefits apply or will apply to your family members. In this third step, how much of your family member’s adult life can be funded through these public programs and how the programs work together. We also help you understand the supplemental needs that your family member and your family will need to cover out of private resources.
Whether you and your family member already have a clear picture of adult life or whether you are just now coming to the drawing board, whether your family member has all, some or none of the public benefits for which they are eligible, we can help you build a realistic, actionable and sustainable plan to support your family member’s desired future.