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Social Security Disability Lecture to NYS Bar Association 10-21-05

My good friend (and one of Long Island’s best Elder Lawyers), Sharon Kovacs Gruer, has asked me to speak at the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law Advanced Institute on October 21, 2005 in Saratoga Springs. My topic will be “Obtaining Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)”. I work with Elder Lawyers like Sharon frequently on social security disability and workers compensation issues. One of the most common needs my clients have is the establishment of a Supplemental Needs Trust. These trusts hold the assets of a disabled person so that they do not lose Medicaid eligibility.
For example, I recently handled a workers compensation claim and we were on the verge of a significant money settlement. Before the settlement papers could be signed, my client suffered a massive stroke and will require nursing home care for the rest of his life, which was being paid for by Medicaid (health insurance for the poor). If he had taken personal possession of the workers comp settlement, he would have lost his Medicaid. Instead, I worked with an Elder Lawyer to set up a Supplemental Needs Trust which the client can now use for various personal needs, such as clothing and trips outside the nursing home. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I like most Elder Lawyers – they are like Disability Lawyers. They help some of the most vulnerable in our society, the sick and disabled. I look forward to being with them in Saratoga Springs.

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