her latest blog The Special Needs Alliance is a national organization comprised of attorneys committed to helping individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Many of our members have loved ones with special needs; all of them work regularly with public benefits, guardianships/conservatorships, planning for disabilities and special education issues. They collaborate with advocates throughout the special needs community to improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities. The Special Needs Alliance (SNA) is a national organization comprised of attorneys dedicated to the practice of disability and public benefits law. Individuals with disabilities, their families and their advisors rely on the SNA to connect them with nearby attorneys who focus their practices in the disability law arena.
The SNA is an invitation-only organization. SNA membership is based on a combination of relevant legal experience in the disability and elder law fields, direct family experience with disability, active participation with national, state and local disability advocacy organizations, and professional reputation. As a result, an SNA member will have an average of 18 years of relevant legal experience, with no member having practiced law for less than 5 years. The majority have been certified as Elder Law Attorneys (CELAs) by the National Elder Law Foundation, the certifying entity for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).
SNA Members Help Families
Special needs attorneys have daily experience with the issues that matter to individuals with disabilities but which are largely unfamiliar to other counsel. They can advise you about:
qualifying and applying for appropriate public benefits;
creating special needs trusts (SNTs) to protect eligibility for means-tested government programs;
availability of local services and supports;
guardianship and powers of attorney.
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SNA Members Help Professionals
Special needs attorneys can offer guidance to the trustees, financial planners and personal injury attorneys who serve individuals with disabilities and their families. They can advise:
personal injury attorneys on whether or not a special needs trust (SNT) should be created to hold settlement funds;
structured settlement brokers on the apportionment of personal injury awards and the use of special needs trusts in conjunction with structured settlements;
trustees regarding SNT distributions that will not disqualify one for public benefits.