2017 Workshops are now being scheduled. Visit our Workshops page for more info...

Legal Specialties for Children and Adults with Disabilities and Their Families

Click on any of the substantive legal specialties below to learn more.

Publications and other resource material for families and professionals.

Robert H. Farley, Jr. writes and publishes on disability and disability law regularly. Below is a sampling of currently available articles and publications.

Click here to view more on our main publications page.

Publications and articles are available for reprint by not-for-profit agencies and parents groups; please see reprint requirements on our publications page.

Workshops, Seminars and Presentations

Robert H. Farley, Jr. is available to speak to parents groups, organizations, and agencies on a wide variety of issues related to disability advocacy and disability services. Popular topics include:

  • Adult Services for Developmentally Disabled Persons
  • Waiting List for Services: Fact or Fiction

Click here to visit our main workshops page.

Ongoing Litigation Regarding Services for Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities

During the last eight years, ongoing litigation against the State of Illinois has resulted in many families receiving funding for day programming, in-home supports, and residential services for children with developmental disabilities, and important legal issues in the State are still being litigated. If you have been told that your son or daughter does not qualify for funding, please contact Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr. to determine whether current litigation may effect your situation, or if you have a basis for a legal claim against the State.

video snaphot of Mr. Farley speaking

Click here to view video of Mr.
Farley's presentation, Obtaining Funding or Services for Children & Adults with DD in the State of Illinois.

Legal Successes That Make a Difference for People with Disabilities and Their Families


How to Obtain Medicare Health Coverage for a Disabled Young Adult Currently Receiving SSI Benefits

SSI at Age 18 - Most disabled young adults obtain SSI Benefits (Supplemental Security Income) at the age of 18 if they are disabled and have less than $2,000 in their own name. The SSI Benefits are for those persons who have not paid into the Social Security system and obtain enough credits to be classified as a disabled worker. For those persons who have earned enough Social Security credits, then they will receive SSDI Benefits (Social Security Disability Insurance). Learn More...

How to Obtain the Maximum Amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) by Charging Rent to Your Disabled Child

Effective January 2017, the maximum SSI payment for an eligible individual is $735 per month.

If your child lives rent free in your home, then the SSI payment will be reduced by 1/3rd. The current living arrangements of the developmentally disabled person will be a factor in determining the amount of his or her SSI monthly payment. The developmentally disabled person can get up to the maximum payment if he or she is living in someone else's household (i.e., parents) as long as he or she pays for his or her food and shelter costs. If the developmentally disabled person is living in someone else's household and does not pay his or her food and shelter costs or pay only part of their food and shelter costs, then the SSI monthly benefit may be reduced up to 1/3rd the maximum amount. Learn More...

Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr. Files a New Class Action Lawsuit Against the State Of Illinois on Behalf of Children

On December 8, 2016, Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr. filed a Federal Class Action lawsuit against the State of Illinois as the result of its failure to provide medically necessary in-home skilled nursing services to individuals on Medicaid when they turn 21 years of age. Learn More...

U.S. Court of Appeals Upheld Federal District Judge's Preliminary Injunction Order Against State of Illinois

On September 23, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld a Federal District Court's Preliminary Injunction which Ordered the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to "take immediate and affirmative steps" to provide in-home nursing care to children with severe medical needs. Learn More...

Preliminary Approval Given for Class Action Settlement Involving Medicaid Eligible Children in Illinois Diagnosed with Mental Health and Behavioral Disorders and Needs

Settlement resolves a lawsuit filed by Robert H. Farley, Jr. in Federal Court in 2011, impacting 20,000 to 40,000 children.

On September 6, 2016, Federal Judge Jorge L. Alonso gave preliminary approval of a Class Action Settlement concerning all Medicaid eligible children under the age of 21 in the State of Illinois who have been diagnosed with a mental health or behavioral disorder and who need intensive Home and Community Based Services to treat their disorders. The Settlement Agreement requires the State of Illinois to insure the availability of services, supports and other resources so that the children can receive appropriate treatment. Learn More...

READ the Settlement Agreement

READ the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement and Hearing

Federal Judge Orders State of Illinois to Provide Community-based Nursing Care to Children with Severe Disabilities and Medical Conditions

Decision is the Result of a Class Action Lawsuit filed by Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr.

On April 6, 2016, Federal Judge Charles P. Kocoras issued a court order requiring the State of Illinois to "take immediate and affirmative steps to provide the very in-home shift nursing services that [the State of Illinois] approved."

More than 1200 children have been approved for in-home nursing services based on their high level of medical need.

CLICK HERE for more information, including links to the Preliminary Injunction Order and Press Release.

Federal Court Rules Disabled Persons Have Valid Claims Against State of Illinois

On September 23, 2015, United States District Judge Joan H. Lefkow ruled that children who have been previously approved for in-home skilled nursing services (RN or LPN) have valid claims against the State of Illinois in their class action lawsuit challenging the decisions of the State to terminate or reduce medically necessary nursing services. Previously on April 22, 2015, Judge Lefkow entered a temporary restraining order preventing the State of Illinois from terminating or reducing nursing services pending the resolution of this case. Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr. welcomes the ruling by Judge Lefkow and is confident that the children of Illinois will prevail in this case.

Federal Judge Orders State of Illinois to Restore Nursing Services to Childrens

On April 22, 2015, Federal Judge Joan H. Lefkow ordered the State of Illinois to restore any in-home skilled nursing services to the Plaintiffs and the proposed Class which were eliminated or reduced after December 1, 2014, and to refrain from imposing any further reductions in in-home skilled nursing services, pending further order of the Court. Click here for additional information, including links to the full complaint and media coverage.

Notice of Class Action Settlement for Medically Fragile Persons

On July 9, 2013, Federal Judge Ruben Castillo has given preliminary approval of a Class Action Settlement (Consent Decree) concerning medically fragile persons who at the age of 21 were subjected to reduced Medicaid funding which reduced the level of medical care (nursing care). On October 3, 2013, Judge Castillo will conduct a fairness hearing to determine whether the terms of the Consent Decree are fair, reasonable, and adequate, and should be approved by the Court. Click here for additional information.

Federal Class Action Filed Against State of Illinois on behalf of medically fragile children to prevent the State of Illinois from eliminating or reducing existing Medicaid benefits.

The State of Illinois is unraveling 27 years of community based services to medically fragile children by making draconian cuts to Medicaid services to all medically fragile children which puts them at risk of institutionalization in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act and Medicaid.

Read more about the case here.

Federal Class Action Filed Against State of Illinois; Claims State Fails to Provide Mandated Mental Health and Behavioral Services to Medicaid-Eligible Children

The Legal Team of Robert H. Farley, Jr., Michelle N. Schneiderheinze, Mary Denise Cahill and Alysha Briggs-Miller, have filed a Federal Class Action Lawsuit against the State of Illinois due to its failure to comply with Federal Laws which mandate that medicaid eligible children (up to the age of 21) who have behavioral or emotional disorders, receive intensive mental and behavioral services in order to correct or ameliorate their conditions.

Read the press release, and FAQ regarding the case, and full complaint here.

U.S. District Court Rules Illinois Medically Fragile Funding Case - Hampe v. Hamos - May Proceed as Class Action

Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr., of Naperville, with the support of the United States Department of Justice has secured a major court ruling in the litigation against the State of Illinois for its policy of severely reducing funding for medically fragile young adults when they turn 21 years of age. On November 22, 2010, United States District Court Judge William J. Hibbler in Hampe v. Hamos, Case No. 10-3121, ruled that this lawsuit can proceed against the State of Illinois as a class action.

The disabled persons in this case are medically fragile persons who receive funding from the State of Illinois under its Medically Fragile/Technology Dependent (MF/TD) Program. The State restricts enrollment in this program to persons under the age of 21, and when they age out of the program they transition into a different program that provides substantially less funding. Without the continued funding in the Medically Fragile program, the Plaintiffs will have to be institutionalized or hospitalized to provide for their medical needs.

Judge Hibbler stated:

"The [State's] conduct toward the entire proposed class is identical - individuals age-out of the MF/TD Program regardless of their medical needs and instead based solely on their age. Moreover, Defendant has refused to modify this policy and practice despite the fact that other individual plaintiffs have successfully challenged the policy in five separate lawsuits."

Judge Hibbler ruled that this class action includes "All persons who are enrolled or will be enrolled or were enrolled in the State of Illinois' Medically Fragile, Technology Dependent Medicaid Waiver Program (MF/TD and when they obtain the age of 21 years are subjected to reduce Medicaid funding which reduces the medical level of care which they had been receiving prior to obtaining 21 years."

Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr. and the Plaintiff Class thank the United States Department of Justice for its support in this litigation against the State of Illinois. If any disabled person has been denied sufficient or adequate funding due to their disability, then please contact Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr. at 630-369-0103.

United States Department of Justice Joins Robert H. Farley, Jr. in Federal Class Action Lawsuite Against the State of Illinois

The United States Department of Justice has joined with Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr. in challenging the "[State of Illinois] systematic failure to modify its current policies and practices of providing insufficient home-based medical care for Medicaid eligible adults to prevent institutionalization." The Justice Department stated, "The United States supports the Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification because it advances the important public interest in community integration." The Justice Department stated, due to the State of Illinois "refusal to modify [its] policy and practice despite the fact that individual plaintiffs have successfully challenged this very policy in five separate lawsuits underscores the need to address this problem on a systemic, class-wide basis."

The Justice Department further stated that the medical fragile / technology dependent Medicaid waiver program sets the maximum capacity at 700 persons while the persons with Disabilities waiver program has a capacity of 27,870 persons. "Together, these programs Constitute a sizeable amount of the state's community-based services. Plaintiffs' claims will require system-wide changes in policies to ensure that defendant's Medicaid programs allows individuals to live in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs."

Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr. and his clients welcome the assistance of the United States Department of Justice in this litigation against the State of Illinois. If any disabled person has been denied sufficient or adequate funding due to their disability, then please contact Robert H. Farley, Jr. at 630-369-0103.

Click to read the United States Department of Justice support of the lawsuit against the State of Illinois

FEDERAL ACTION FILED REGARDING STATE OF ILLINOIS' FAILURE TO PROVIDE COMMUNITY SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS

Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr., has filed a Federal Lawsuit against the State of Illinois, due to the failure of the State to provide appropriate community-based services to an individual, Mathew Fowler, who currently resides at home, and similarly situated individuals.

The case alleges that years and years of tremendous effort and success by dedicated special education teachers and his parents is now being eroded by the failure of the State to provide funding for community-based services after he has left special education. The case also claims that the States' requirement that Mathew and other people with DD submit to institutionalization as a condition of receiving their developmental disability services will cause unnecessary regression, isolation and segregation, and violates the ADA, The Rehabilitation Act, and Social Security and Medicaid law.

Click here to read the full text of the lawsuit.

FEDERAL CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT FILED ON FUNDING FOR MEDICALLY FRAGILE DISABLED PERSONS - July 30, 2009

Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr., has filed a Federal Class Action Lawsuit against the State of Illinois on July 30, 2009, due to the failure of the State to change its policy and practice of reducing funding by approximately 50% for medically fragile disabled persons when they turn 21 years of age.

Despite the fact that the State of Illinois has not prevailed in 5 other individual federal and state lawsuits brought by other disabled person to reduce funding, the State of Illinois continues to violate the law and not change its practices to reduce funding for medically fragile disabled persons when they turn 21. The continued practice by the State of Illinois violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. A class action lawsuit is necessary in order to obtain for all medically fragile persons a right not to have their funding cut which forces them to become either hospitalized or face a real possibility of death if they continue to live at home.

Click here to read our news release on the class action lawsuit.

Click here to read the full text of the lawsuit.

Bruggeman v. Blagojevich

Robert H. Farley, Jr. was the lead attorney in a lawsuit filed against the State of Illinois (Bruggeman v. Blagojevich) where the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that developmentally disabled persons are entitled to sue the State of Illinois under the Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) to receive funding for services in the least restrictive setting (community settings) as opposed to institutional settings.

The case is significant in that it set a Seventh Circuit precedent under the U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, dismissing the State’s Eleventh Amendment defense of immunity, and setting the stage for funding of a five-year plan in Illinois to serve 3,000 persons with developmental disabilities in community settings, and to provide additional funding for persons in private ICF/DD facilities to move into the community if they so desire.

Click here for the full text of the decision.


Ongoing Litigation in Illinois Regarding Children and Adult Services

During the last eight years, ongoing litigation against the State of Illinois has resulted in many families receiving funding for day programming, in-home supports, and residential services for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Important legal issues in the State of Illinois are, or have yet to be litigated. If you have been told that your son or daughter does not qualify for funding, please contact Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr. to determine whether current litigation may effect your situation, or if you have a basis for a legal claim against the State.