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Headlines

Lawmakers Fighting for Stronger Protections for Older Workers
July 1, 2016
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is looking to protect older workers from age discrimination.
Full Story.

Social Security Trust Fund Will Be Empty in Less Than 20 Years
June 30, 2016
The trust fund used to pay hospital insurance costs for Medicare will be wiped out two years earlier than expected, according to a government report released Wednesday.
Full Story.

America May Finally Be Ready for Mandatory Retirement Savings
June 29, 2016
It may be the only way to give all workers access to a 401(k).
Full Story.

Senate Votes to Scale Back Federal Job Preferences for Veterans
June 27, 2016
Congress stepped this week into a sensitive issue that’s been quietly roiling the already-challenging hiring system for federal jobs: the Obama administration’s high-profile push to give preference to veterans.
Full Story.

Prisoners with Disabilities Lack ‘Scaffolding for Success’
June 24, 2016
According to a new report, more than 750,000 people with disabilities are currently imprisoned in the United States. Advocates say that children born with physical or intellectual disabilities are far more likely to end up in prison than their able-bodied peers, due in part to a lack of support systems.
Full Story.

Who Wins and Loses If the Federal Estate Tax Is Eliminated
June 23, 2016
Numerous politicians have called for the elimination of the federal estate tax. The financial and moral value of the estate tax has been an issue for decades with claims of ethical rightness on both sides and economic betterment or disaster.
Full Story.

Federal Panel Seeks Input on Autism
June 22, 2016
A federal autism advisory panel is looking for public feedback as it prepares to update the government’s priorities for addressing the developmental disorder for the first time in years.
Full Story.

Spiraling Drug Costs Prompt Call for Major Medicare Changes
June 21, 2016
Calling the rising cost of drugs "unsustainable," congressional advisers on Wednesday recommended major changes to Medicare's popular outpatient prescription program, now 10 years old.
Full Story.

What to Consider If You May Depend on Medicaid for Nursing Care
June 20, 2016
Planning ahead could help you avoid scrambling to shed assets so you're eligible for Medicaid.
Full Story.

15 Worst States to Avoid in Retirement
June 17, 2016
Number crunching alone can't tell you where to retire. That's a choice you'll ultimately need to make on your own. But identifying the places that hold the lowest appeal for retirees can at least help narrow your search.
Full Story.

Updates

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 (You’ll need to sign in to the site to view this page.) Read about NAELA members’ experiences. (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)