Update on DeCambre v. Brookline Housing Authority
The federal district court’s decision in DeCambre v. Brookline Housing Authority
determined that special needs trust (SNT) distributions could be counted as income in determining Section 8 eligibility. NAELA members Ron Landsman, Esq., CAP, and Emily Starr, CELA, wrote and submitted an amicus brief on the case, with assistance from NAELA member Gregory Wilcox, CELA.
The 1st Circuit acknowledged the work of NAELA, the Special Needs Alliance and the National Housing Law Project regarding regulation § 5.603(b), which states that “’income’ in section 5.603(b) does not include the principal that initially funded the trust.”
DeCambre’s main claim focused on whether the housing authority made an error under the relevant regulations when calculating her income. She argued that SNT monies were from lump-sum payments and thus any SNT distribution was excluded from her annual income.
After again looking at the regulation and considering the parties’ arguments, the court rejected the defendant’s position.
“This does not address third-party trusts, but this is a victory for people with first-party pooled trust accounts or relatively modest individual special needs trusts. It means that drawing down principal and distributing it from the trust or trust account is not income for rent calculation purposes. The rare person with a really large special needs trust account who has substantial income from the trust — interest, dividends, realized capital gains — will have all of that counted for rent purposes,” said Landsman.
View the case ruling
Read the Latest on NAELA Public Policy/Advocacy
Read the June issue
of the NAELA Advocacy Update. (June 6, 2016)
Read the Latest NAELA: Eye on Elder and Special Needs Issues
NAELA supports care in the community and the greatest amount of independence possible for persons of any age with disabilities. Read more
. (June 3, 2016)
NAELA and Other Advocates for Persons with Disabilities Support Congressional Effort to Ensure Minnesota Can Continue to Protect Families Needing Care Services at Home
Efforts would protect families from choosing between financial ruin or divorce in order to receive Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). See press release
. (May 12, 2016)
NAELA to Host Elder and Special Needs Law Conference
NAELA will host the NAELA Annual Conference from April 7-9 at the Denver Marriott City Center. See press release
. (April 5, 2016)
Join a NAELA Committee
Whether you’re new to Elder Law and Special Needs Planning, new to the Academy, or you finally have time to volunteer, NAELA offers a variety of committees, task forces, and project-based groups to help you learn more about Elder Law and Special Needs Planning, share your expertise, and get to know fellow members from across the country. New committees are starting in May. Make this the year you get active in NAELA.
Learn about NAELA Committees
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. (March 30, 2016)
NAELA Commends House Passage of Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act
The reauthorization will allow support to continue through 2019 and strengthens the law by providing better protection for vulnerable elders; streamlining and improving program administration; promoting evidence-based support; improving nutrition services; and aligning senior employment services with the workforce development system. See press release
(March 22, 2016)