House Subcommittee Hearing to Examine Special Needs Trust Fairness Act

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NAELA Member to Testify Before House Subcommittee on Special Needs Trust Fairness Act

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NAELA praises Chairman Pitts (R-PA) for taking this issue up...We look forward to working with him and members of the Subcommittee to ensure its speedy passage in the House.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing entitled Improving the Medicaid Program for Beneficiaries this Friday, September 18, at 9:00am ET.

Richard A. Courtney, CELA, CAP, a past member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) Board of Directors and President of the Special Needs Alliance, will testify. Read NAELA’s Statement for the Record.

The Subcommittee will review and hear testimony on four pieces of legislation, including H.R. 670, the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act. The hearing comes less than two weeks following the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act unanimous passage in the Senate on September 9.

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act would correct an error in the law that presumes that all persons with disabilities lack the mental capacity to handle their own affairs. The legislation was introduced in the House with bipartisan support by Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Ranking-Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

"NAELA praises Chairman Pitts (R-PA) for taking this issue up," said NAELA President Shirley B. Whitenack, Esq., CAP. “We look forward to working with him and members of the Subcommittee to ensure its speedy passage in the House."

Special needs trusts help ensure that individuals with disabilities can receive assistance for their long-term services and supports from means-tested programs like Medicaid without becoming utterly destitute. Under current law, only a parent, grandparent, legal guardian of the individual, or a court can establish a special needs trust in contrast to other parts of the law, such as the recently passed ABLE Act. Those who do not have a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian must petition the court, causing unnecessary legal fees and delay.

Learn more on the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act.

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others. The mission of NAELA is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org.

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Abby Matienzo, Communications Associate
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