Over 51.2 million Americans are living with a disability.  Many of these Americans are children, age 6 or older, who need personal assistance with their daily living.  Planning for a child with special needs can be complicated and often requires a team of concerned professionals.  A study by The Hartford shows that 62% of parents of children with special needs lack a basic plan to cover the future costs of child care once they are not around anymore.  If you have a child with special needs, there are a few areas that you should review to make sure that your child will have all of the tools and resources for a long and happy life.
The following is a short list of questions parents should ask themselves about long term planning for children with special needs:
  • Educational opportunities – Which programs are available in the community and/or region?
  • Cost of private services – Will the child  require a caretaker or some form of support?
  • Public benefits – How will the child qualify for SSDI, SSI, and Medicaid?
  • Guardianship – Will a guardianship be necessary if the child is over 18 and requires such assistance?
  • Health care options – Which medical professionals are familiar with the child’s needs and requirements?
  • Special needs trust – Should a special needs trust be created to help provide for a child without removing them from public benefits?
As always, the most important thing is to do everything you can to fulfill the wishes and desires of the child.  No one knows your child like you do, so anticip​​​​​​ate and prepare for the future now so that you can focus on raising a happy and healthy child.