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Ned’s Sister

By Kate Barrow, “Ned’s Sister” There is a long running joke among my friends and family that started when I was a kindergartner in Charlottesville, VA.  My younger brother was in the pre-k class for children with special needs at the same school, and on occasion some of the fifth graders would help out in…

Taking the Fear Out of Medicaid, SSI Eligibility – Special Needs Trusts

Becoming eligible or remaining eligible for government benefits can be a scary prospect.   The Arc Master Trust can make this prospect much less scary. The resource limit for Medicaid is $1,500 and the limit for SSI is $2,000. If you have more money than this in bank accounts (CD’s, checking, savings, etc), savings bonds,…

Future Planning – SSI and Food and Shelter Costs

In planning for the future of a loved one with a disability, it is important to know what government benefits he or she may qualify for, and what those benefits will provide.  If you or a loved one is already receiving government benefits, it is important to know show they can be used.  In this…

The Impact of Medicaid Block Grants

One solution to the federal budget crisis being offered up is block granting Medicaid – the shared state and federal program that supports not only health care, but also home and community based services and residential programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Indiana. What would a block grant mean? Instead of a…

Advice from Someone Who was Bullied

On July 26, I went to the Bullying Conference, sponsored by the Children’s Coalition of Indiana. They talked about the kids in the school and how they are getting bullied in the school, in the cafeteria. I look around me and I know what it is like to be bullied. And it is not fun. The…

Starting the Conversation

How do you best start a conversation? The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) started a conversation several weeks ago about an opportunity Indiana could take through the Affordable Care Act that offers state incentives to serve more people in the community and fewer people in nursing homes and other institutions.  This effort would…

Pooled Special Needs Trusts vs Private Special Needs Trusts

When I give presentations on The Arc Master Trust, I am frequently asked the differences and advantages of Pooled Special Needs Trusts versus private Special Needs Trusts. Pooled Special Needs Trusts (PSNT), such as The Arc Master Trust, are administered by not-for-profit organizations, while private Special Needs Trusts (SNT) are typically administered by a bank…

Helping Marilyn Achieve Her Dream to “Get Out of Here”

The best part of my job as Director of The Arc Master Trust is working with our trust beneficiaries to get not only basic necessities, but also the nice extras that we all want in life.  Best of all, sometimes we help people change their lives and achieve their dreams. In October of 2010, I met with…