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Showing posts from March 5, 2017

Nuts & Bolts of Income Tax for Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families

Nuts & Bolts of Income Tax for Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families by  The Arc By  Elizabeth L. Gray, CELA ,  Special Needs Alliance® As we approach tax season, it is important to understand the different tax credits, deductions, and liabilities affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.  This is a complicated subject. This article provides general information.  If you would like to get advice for your situation, you should consult a professional with knowledge of both taxation and special needs planning. Claiming a Dependent The IRS defines an individual with disabilities as someone with a permanent and total disability that results in the inability of that individual to engage in any substantial gainful activity. A qualified physician must certify that the condition has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for 12 months or more, or that the condition can be expected to result in death. Substantial gainful activ

An open letter to Congress regarding our extraordinary children

March 8, 2017 U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Members of Congress, While I do not agree with many of your individual actions and stated positions, I would like to begin this letter by thanking all of you for your service. I appreciate the interest, dedication, and energy that at some point motivated you to run for public office and toward a greater good. And I would like to appeal to those same early beliefs and ask you to consider again several of the bills currently under your review as they relate to children with disabilities. I am the mother of two boys, the older of whom — now seven — has cerebral palsy. You can see a photo of him here, which I include to remind you of the beauty and diversity of the people that make up this country you serve. It was taken last summer, the day we were visiting the Empire State Building: he’s just caught sight of King Kong. Over the past few months I’ve become increasingly alarmed by the number of federal ef

Up All Night

By Rylin Rodgers, Riley Child Development Center When was the last time you were up all night worrying about something? I hope you had to think hard in order to answer that one because it’s been a while. For most of us, though, it probably wasn’t that long ago. Most of us have the experience of losing sleep due to a health care need – an unpleasant bout of the flu, a fussy sick toddler, sitting bedside with a parent recovering in a hospital. These nights of lost sleep are part of being human, part of the loving support of family. And in most cases extra coffee the following day or even a quick nap is enough to set us back on our path. In the last few weeks, I have been losing sleep around health care, but for a new and challenging reason. As a parent of children who have complex health care needs, I know how critical access to health care and health care financing is for my family and for millions of Americans who love someone who has a chronic illness, a disability or a

Legislative Update

from IAUW: Legislative update webinar coming soon IaUW partners with the  Indiana Coalition for Human Services  to bring you updates during the legislative session.  The first update webinar was recorded on  January 30 .  View the 16 minute recording .  We will continue to share updates about the progress with legislation affecting working Hoosiers, children, seniors and people with disabilities. Additional legislative update webinars will be recorded.  The March 10 webinar has been postponed but a webinar will be available online in the near future.  Check back next  Policy Update  and  register now for the webinar on  May 5 . Follow along during the 2017 legislative session The  Indiana General Assembly  is past the halfway point and bills that are still moving have crossed-over to the second chamber.  Of the 850 or so bills that were filed at the beginning of session, only 362 are still moving.  The Indiana General Assembly has moved up deadline dates for sessi

AHCA and Medicaid Updates

from NDNRC: This week, the long-awaited ACA replacement plan from congressional Republicans was introduced in the House. We have posted a blog entry entitled “What the AHCA Would Mean for People with Disabilities.” In the blog, we review the American Health Care Act (AHCA) against the eight principles we outlined in our NDNRC statement entitled “Preserve the Protections Provided by the Affordable Care Act.” To read the blog post on the AHCA,  click here . The NDNRC statement outlining our eight principles can be found on our website where it is also available in a PDF download by  clicking here . The National Council on Disability (NCD) has released its core principles for health care reform. According to the NCD mission statement, “NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.” To read the NCD statement on health care,  c