Fiscal agents are mostly for adults living with mental and/or physical disabilities. Able-bodied and neurotypical parents of children with disabilities may assume that they have their child’s finances under control. But having a child with disabilities comes with a lot more financial responsibility than parents realize, especially parents who have never lived with a disability.
Age and Coverage
Proper health insurance can help with mounting medical bills. It’s important to understand how your child will be covered once he or she is an adult. Healthcare policies vary:
- Some allow the adult child to continue coverage if he or she is a full-time student.
- Most policies will now allow continued coverage for dependents up to age 26.
- Some will allow indefinite continued coverage for adult children with disabilities, and if the parent continues to provide 50% or more of that adult child’s support and maintenance. You should consider this carefully if your child will be receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), because some aspects of SSI payments are based on whether or not the young adult is claimed as a dependent by his or her parents.
- Others will allow the parents to continue to support the individual indefinitely.
Make a Will
Wills are vital for every family, but they are especially important for parents who have children with disabilities. Meet with a lawyer to prepare a will that will protect your child financially. The two most important factors you need to keep in mind are:
- The assets and money you want to leave for your child.
- Who you want your child’s guardian to be.
Special Needs Trust
The best advice we can offer to any family, particularly families with special needs, is to start a savings account and/or trust fund for your child as soon as possible. You can never be too prepared for unexpected emergencies.
Do you need help budget-managing regarding your child’s disability? Are you an adult living with a disability who needs assistance staying on top of your finances? At Acumen Fiscal Agent, we understand the expenses that often come with disabilities. We can help you take control of your financial life today.