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If you or a loved one has special needs, your finances are likely to be more precarious. Unfortunately, disabled Americans experience poverty at double the rate of their non-disabled peers.
While much of this stems from structural barriers and fewer economic opportunities, no disabled person should ever have to live in poverty. This is why financial planning for special needs households is so important.
By making the right preparations now, you can absorb the costs of disability and enjoy a higher quality of life. Check out this quick explainer on financial planning for families with special needs.
Get Your Benefits
All disabled Americans are entitled to wide-ranging disability benefits. These are largely means-tested, but any person with a qualifying condition is eligible. These three main benefits are:
- Social Security Income (SSI)
- Social Security Disability Allowance (SSDI)
You might qualify for one or all of these. Head to the US government web portal to apply today.
Banking and Financial Planning for Special Needs
Unfortunately, most disabled benefits are means-tested. If you have a certain amount of capital or savings, your benefits can be reduced. Luckily, there is now a way around this.
The best financial advice for disabled people that we can give is to open a tax-advantaged ABLE Account. This is a Federal program that allows you to save large sums of cash without it affecting your benefits.
There are limits on withdrawals, and regular withdrawals are meant to cover disability-related expenses only. However, this is a very effective route to financial planning for special needs adults.
Get Disability Insurance
When it comes to financial planning for families with special needs, it is important to plan for the worst. If a loved one is able-bodied now, that does not mean they will always be that way.
No matter who you are, you should absolutely consider taking our disability insurance.
This will cover your lost income and expenses in the event of an unexpected disability. Make sure to read up on the disability insurance average cost to find out exactly how much you will have to spend on this cover.
Secure Your Healthcare Waivers
Right now, disabled Americans can access hundreds of nationwide Medicaid waivers to bypass the usual program restrictions.
Many of these will waive income and work requirements if you have a qualifying condition so that you can get affordable, accessible care. Some of the most widely-used Medicaid waivers for disabled people cover:
- An at-home carer
- Meal delivery
- Everyday medical supplies
- Adult daycare and senior centers
Remember, Medicaid waivers will cover both medical and non-medical care. Check your local Medicaid site to find out how you can apply for a waiver.
Healthier Finances, No Matter What
Disability should not be a precursor to poverty. With these tips on financial planning for special needs, you can build the financial buffers you need to ensure that your condition does not drain your resources.
For more tips on healthier finances, no matter who you are, we have got you covered.
Read our dedicated Finance section for expert guides on how to build financial resilience now and in the future.