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Legal Updates

Special Needs Planning - 2018 July 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 Law Firm.

Chambliss Law Firm Monthly Editorial

We All Want the Same Thing: The Advocacy Approach

by Amy Boulware, Care Manager (LAP MSW)

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved to learn. I got my first library card before I could even read, and I remember holding my mom's hand as we took our weekly trip to the library. It didn't take me long to learn that knowledge is key and having access to it is even better.

My love for conferences is heavily influenced by this innate desire. I enjoy the amazing speakers, the connection with attendees, the chance to stay in a hotel away from my usual household chores, and, of course, the swag bags full of giveaways to bring back and share. In May I attended a conference called the Tennessee Disability Mega Conference, which is a two-day gathering of national and local speakers, exhibitors, persons with disabilities, family members, and professionals in the disability field. I work with people who have disabilities every day, but being submerged in all things disability was eye-opening.

Did you know that there are 1 million Tennesseans with a disability (according to the American Association of People with Disabilities)? Or, did you know that 47 percent of Tennesseans who voted in 2016 had a disability? These are staggering numbers, yet people with disabilities often feel as if they have to fight for every service or program that is out there. At this conference I was sitting shoulder to shoulder with professionals and parents who all wanted the same thing that everyone wants  – for their family member to be as independent and active as possible, understanding that their disability may require them to have appropriate assistance and programs to do so. We all need to speak up and advocate for people with disabilities, and this belief only became stronger after attending this conference.

Most families are touched by disability at some time. I have learned some best practices over the years for being an effective advocate. [Click to read the 7 Best Practices for Being an Effective Advocate for People with Disabilities.]

Is Your Child Eligible for Childhood Disabled Beneficiary Benefits?

Understanding what benefits might be available to your child or loved one with special needs can be confusing. Childhood disabled beneficiary benefits (CDBs) are a case in point. Read more ->

Feds Expand Oversight of Representative Payees for SSDI and SSI Recipients 

Recently passed legislation offers new tools to better protect Social Security disability beneficiaries from representative payees who abuse their position. Read more ->

Lawsuit Targets Education Department’s Handling of Discrimination Claims 

Three leading civil and disability rights groups are suing the U.S. Department of Education over changes to the way the Department handles claims of rights violations. Read more ->


Looming Deadline for Electronic Check-in for Home Care Workers Raises Concerns 

Disability rights advocates and a bipartisan group of senators are calling for a delay in the rollout of a program requiring home health care workers to clock in electronically with Medicaid prior to performing services. Read more ->