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The road to Disability Planning can seem filled with unknowns, but thanks to the Lehman Disability Planning we have some information to help make your trip smooth sailing!

Planning for the future when you have children with special health care needs and developmental challenges can seem daunting. Will your children be able to support themselves? Will they be able to live independently? Can you set-up a fund to ensure their continued care and success?

Lehman Disability Planning says,

The antidote to future concerns is to have a flexible, comprehensive, coordinated life care plan for the entire family. A family needs to articulate what they want, know how they are going to pay for it and consider the need for legal documents to protect both their assets and their loved ones.

To prevent gaps in planning, comprehensive life plans have three considerations:

Financial, Legal, and of profound importance, Disability Advisory services.

A good Disability Advisor is focused on enriching families’ lives, understanding benefits, and resources and has relevant, accurate information as well as referrals so you can make informed choices.

The information below can get you started on your path to your children’s future care. 

Paid Family Caregiver Tax Options
Colorado family members may have paid caregiver options for their children and adult children with care needs: Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) for skilled care, In Home Supports and Services (IHSS) for unskilled care, Pediatric Personal Care for unskilled care, Consumer Directed Attendant Supports and Services (CDASS) options and, through Developmental Disability Medicaid Waivers, the Family Caregiver option.
 
Paid caregivers have differing potential tax opportunities, depending on family income eligibilities, and family and dependent relationships for tax purposes, as well as eligibilities of family members for Waiver and Medicaid services and care plans.
 
IRS Publication 503 (Click Here) describes Child and Dependent Care Expenses, including eligibility requirements to claim a credit for child and dependent care expenses.
 
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income which can reduce the amount of tax owed. The IRS provides guidance to determine eligibility for the EITC: For eligibility requirements, click here.
 
The Child Tax Credit may be worth as much as $1,000 per qualifying child depending upon your income. Here’s guidance: Click here for five things about the Child Tax Credit.
 
Qualified Medicaid Waiver payments to care providers for non-medical support services provided, under a plan of care, to an eligible individual living in the care provider’s home, are currently able to be excluded from Gross Income and thus are not subject to Federal Withholding Tax. To learn more: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-07.pdf
 
Tax options can help family members choose which paid parent care opportunities work best for their family. LDP does not offer tax advice and recommends discussing tax matters with tax professionals.
 
HCPF’s 2019 Operational Memos
Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF – oversight and operation of Colorado Medicaid) Operational Memos are instructions and clarifications to put into effect new or existing state and federal law or rules or Department policy: Click here for 2019 memos.

Line of Sight Care, Human Rights, Informed Consent and Safety
June 4, 2019: HCBS SETTINGS FINAL RULE—INTENSIVE SUPERVISION – summarizes direction for case management agencies and providers serving the home-and community-based services (HCBS) waivers about one-on-one, line-of-sight, and 24-hour supervision. Under this Final Rule, HCBS settings must ensure “an individual’s rights of privacy, dignity, and respect” and they must optimize “individual initiative, autonomy, and independence in making life choices”. However, human rights and informed consent may require balanced considerations for safety. If you are a family member of an individual who requires line of sight care, like I am, this is important information: For line of sight care information, click here.
 
Children’s Extensive Support (CES) Waiver
The CES Waiver helps children and families by providing services and supports to help establish a long-term foundation for community inclusion as they grow into adulthood. The Waiver also pays for respite for family members, as well as other valuable benefits. If your child is or may be eligible for the CES Waiver, this updated information may be important to you:

May 28, 2019: The Children’s Extensive Support Program
May 2019: Children’s Extensive Support Waiver Behavioral and Medical Supports Application Revised 
April 2019: Children’s Extensive Support Waiver Behavioral and Medical Supports Appendices

What is CDASS versus IHSS? (What do these acronyms mean?)
If people speak in acronyms, and you are not well-versed in those acronyms, you may feel frustrated. Two potentially important acronym benefits are IHSS and CDASS. Health First Colorado (Colorado Medicaid) and Consumer Direct Care Network Colorado produced a handbook about IHSS of interest: Click here to access handbook

Will EVV affect my family? (And what is EVV?)
Electronic Visit Verification will affect Coloradans who utilize CDASS, Home Health and IHSS benefits as soon as the year 2020. If this might affect you, these Operational Memos are an important read for you.

February 2019: EVV FAQs
May 2019: EVV Established Vendor List
June 4, 2019: EVV Mandated Services

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