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Robert H. Farley, Jr. writes and publishes on disability and disability law regularly. Below is a sampling of currently available articles and publications.
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Publications and articles are available for reprint by not-for-profit agencies and parents groups; please see reprint requirements on our publications page.
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:
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Q. How much will the adult with disabilities receive in SSI benefits?
A. Effective January 2009, the maximum SSI payment for an eligible individual is approximately $674 per month.
Q. Why do some adults with disabilities receive approximately one third less than the maximum?
A. The adult's living arrangements determine the SSI monthly payment. Individuals with disabilities can obtain the maximum payment if they live in someone's household, like that of their parents, and pay food and shelter costs. If not, the SSI monthly benefit may be reduced up to one third the maximum amount.
Q. What resources or assets can a developmentally disabled person have and still qualify for SSI?
A. Generally, the individual's countable resources or assets must not exceed $2,000 in cash, bank accounts, property, stocks, bonds and personal possessions of any worth.
Q. What happens if resources or assets are transferred in order to get under $2,000 limit?
A. If they are transferred, given away, or sold for less than their value, the person may be ineligible for SSI up to 36 months.
Q. Can the resources or assets be placed in a "Special Needs Payback Trust" and still qualify for SSI benefits?
A. Yes. The Social Security Administration allows the creation of these trusts that allow the placement of monies that will not count towards the $2,000 limit permitted for SSI eligibility. The trust must provide that at the beneficiary's death any remaining trust funds will first be used to reimburse the state for Medicaid paid on the beneficiary's behalf. It is critical to have an attorney experienced in this area of the law draft this type of trust. An improperly drafted trust may disqualify the person for SSI benefits until that trust is almost exhausted.