With so much of life seeming expensive even for average families, special needs families certainly have a variety of challenges that greet them at every corner. Extra medical and legal expenses can crop up, and even education can become expensive when a private school or extra resources are chosen. While some costs simply cannot be removed, here are five smart, money-saving tips that every special needs family should take into account.
Use Public and Community Resources When Possible
The government often offers many benefits for special needs individuals as long as they do not have many assets. In general, the individual should have $2,000 or less to qualify for SSI. Additionally, many communities, particularly those that are larger offer low-cost or no-cost programs for special needs individuals, particularly those who are low-income.
Many special needs children have huge costs related to health care, housing or educational or lifestyle programs. Parents and guardians must protect their own assets in retirement accounts and in other accounts that are not to be used for special needs care. A good estate plan can protect assets both while the parents are alive as well as after they have passed on.
Check into Tax Credits
Just as the government often provides supplemental income, it also has several tax deductions and credits offered through the IRS when filing taxes. For example, some families may be able to deduct legal and medical expenses. Choosing a good accountant can help individuals save the most money possible.
Plan for Adulthood
If special needs children are unable to care for themselves when they reach adulthood, families may need to look into special needs trusts, guardians or conservatorships. Planning before adulthood arrives can help parents know how to budget and how to save for the future.