For Immediate Release
October 20, 2016
Contact: Abby Matienzo, Communications Manager
NAELA Recognizes Rep. Thompson as an Outstanding Advocate for Persons with Disabilities
Washington, DC — Today, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) presented Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) with an award for his outstanding advocacy for persons with disabilities in the 114th Congress.
NAELA is a national, non-profit association comprised of 4,500 attorneys who concentrate on improving the lives of persons with disabilities of all ages through impassioned legal advocacy.
In particular, NAELA recognized Rep. Thompson for his bipartisan leadership in passing the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act in the House this Congress with his Democratic colleague Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey.
The Special Needs Trust (SNT) Fairness Act corrects an error in the law that presumes that all individuals with disabilities lack the mental capacity to create their “D-4-A” SNT. This false and degrading presumption leads to unnecessary legal fees and judicial red tape when the individual has no parent or grandparent to form the trust.
D-4-A SNTs allow individuals with disabilities under 65 to use what savings they have to provide for their supplemental needs while still qualifying for long-term services and supports from means-tested programs like Medicaid without living in utter destitution.
“There’s no question that Mr. Thompson is an extremely dedicated advocate for older persons and those with disabilities, representing for Pennsylvania’s fifth district in Congress,” said NAELA member Amos Goodall, CELA, of State College, PA.
Rep. Thompson first introduced the legislation in 2013 with his Democratic colleague Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey and has been steadily building bipartisan support for the legislation ever since. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this change will shave three months, on average, off deserving individuals’ claims for needed benefits.
The House ultimately passed the legislation on September 20th.
“With all the news we see about congressional gridlock, Pennsylvanians need to know that GT is committed to working hard and getting things done the old-fashioned way, reaching across the aisle and not taking no for an answer,” remarked Goodall.
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of NAELA is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org.
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