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Legal Updates

Special Needs Planning - December Legal Update


Special Needs News is an e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to those with special needs and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by Dana Perry and the other members of the Special Needs Planning Practice Group of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C.

Chambliss Law Firm Monthly Editorial

Standing up to Life’s Traumatic Events
by Amy Boulware, Care Manager, (LAP MSW)

Sitting around a table full of social workers can often be a daunting thing. It’s not because we aren't all nice people; it’s because we, as professional caregivers, often carry our clients' difficulties on our shoulders. It’s easy for us to take their struggles and constantly wrestle with them in our hearts and minds until their needs are met.
Last week, I attended an advanced training session with ten of my social work colleagues. The purpose of the training was to learn about reflective supervision, but as it turned out, that was somewhat secondary to the topic we all had on our minds… trauma and how to deal with it! 
 The citizens of our small city have experienced multiple traumas in the last eighteen months, including a tragic elementary school bus accident, rampant wildfires, the July 2015 terrorist attack on local military posts, and on-going gang violence. This list doesn't include any personal trauma that community members may be facing. The fact that Chattanooga has been featured on "Good Morning America" multiple times while I was getting ready in the morning is not something that went unnoticed. 
Often when we think of trauma, we may picture traumatic experiences such as terrorism, natural disasters, abuse, violence, or loss of a loved one. However, individuals can also be traumatized by personal every-day experiences like having a family member become unexpectedly disabled or battling significant challenges that may come with caring for a child with a disability. Trauma can result from chronic stress or adversity, chronic, severe, or life-threatening injuries, illness, and accidents. It interferes with one's ability to cope, and it happens to everyone. You can't escape the unexpected, but knowing how to cope with what life deals you is very important. So, I’m sharing this first-hand lesson with you. [Click to read the full article.]

The Top 7 Reasons to Establish a Special Needs Trust 

Special needs trusts (SNTs) can play an important role in helping families plan for children with special needs. Here are some of the most compelling reasons to speak with your attorney about establishing an SNT.  Read more ->

How to Prepare for Your First IEP Meeting 

Many parents feel intimidated at the thought of attending their child’s first Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting, but with adequate preparation it can be an informative, successful and (relatively) stress-free experience. Read more ->

Personal Care Assistants Can Offer Much-Needed Help to Families with Special Needs Children 

Personal care assistants (PCAs) may be an option to give caregivers needed help. Most states provide personal care services through their Medicaid programs to help families manage the daily care of children, adults and the elderly with long-term disabilities. Read more ->

Make Sure Your Estate Plan Doesn't Put Your Child at Risk  

Parents are often very familiar with the government benefits their child receives, but many don't think about the effect that their own estate plan can have on those benefits. Read more ->



As we head into the new year, we're making plans for what to bring you in 2017.
If there is a specific topic you would like for us to cover, please let us know here.