Sunday, April 5, 2009

Financial Help for Special Needs Families

There is a woman in Illinois who helps families of special needs children/adults develop a financial plan for the future. Will your child be able to live independently as an adult? One thing the organization does is discover where your child could potentially live if you passed away. They also look at how to get grants to make that happen and even find resources to help your child get closer to independence. Protected Tomorrows can also help you find the best and most affordable place for an aging parent to live. Children with special needs become adults with special needs and most of the programs stop when the child turns 18 years old. It's a scary reality for a lot of parents. Here's the gist of what Protected Tomorrows does: (I believe the cost depends on what services you end up using, but I am not sure)

Protected Tomorrows, Inc. is an advocacy firm that enhances the lives of people with special needs through a comprehensive life planning process. Our nationwide network of Advocates creates Future Care Plans™, which addresses the needs of the individual with developmental disabilities, mental illness, physical disabilities, or cognitive and neurological diseases in the following areas:

  • education
  • residential
  • financial
  • legal
  • health care
  • government benefits
  • employment
  • recreation
The Future Care Plan is a comprehensive way to approach and address the fears, hopes and dreams of families with a special needs member whether that member has a developmental disability like autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or Angelmans syndrome; mental illness; or other diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), and Multiple Sclerosis.

Here's a story on Protected Tomorrows from ABC7 in Chicago. On a side note, it is so cool to me that the station has a reporter who is hearing impaired doing this story.

ABC7 story

About the Founder of the program: Our founder, Mary Anne Ehlert, CFP, had a successful career in financial planning when she decided to act on her lifelong desire to specialize in serving the families of the disabled. The source of her inspiration was very dear to her heart. Mary Anne herself had come from such a family. Her younger sister, Marcia, to whom she felt especially close, suffered severe mental handicaps due to cerebral palsy. And, although their parents were naturally determined that Marcia should get the best possible care, they had also for years been understandably confused how best to plan and provide for her future, especially financially.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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