Planning After A Traumatic Brain Injury
“Christopher” became permanently disabled as a teen after a negligent driver failed to yield at a pedestrian crosswalk. He suffered a traumatic brain injury that resulted in a sensory processing disorder and epilepsy diagnosis.
The incident caused Christopher to lose his spacial awareness and impacted his perception of his surrounding environment. The result of the motor vehicle accident made it difficult for Christopher to continue his education in a traditional setting. Following instructions become difficult, and his ability to analyze and remember visual information was impaired.
We were introduced to Christopher and his family through their trial attorney after their case settled. Our team helped Christopher and his family coordinate their settlement amount with their finances, savings and retirement plan, and introduced disability resources to establish support and care for Christopher.
The following outlines the services we provided to help Christopher and his family:
Establishing a Special Needs Trust
We assisted the family’s estate planning attorneys analyze and establish a special needs trust to help protect and maintain Christopher’s eligibility for needs-based benefits in the future. Christopher’s parents were named co-trustees.
Creating a Special Needs Plan
Our team helped Christopher’s family create a financial plan to help provide supplemental income and additional support throughout the lifetime of their child. This included planning for long-term living and subsequent costs.
Investing and Managing the Settlement Proceeds
Working alongside Christopher’s parents, the co-trustees, our team created a wealth management strategy for the settlement proceeds. In accordance to the special needs trust and special needs plan, the money held by the trust was invested in a way to help minimize taxes over the investment’s horizon. The financial strategy included an income stream to provide for the immediate medical, educational and housing costs for Christopher.
Reviewing Public Benefits and Eligibility
We reviewed Christopher’s eligibility for public benefits like the Oregon K-plan, medical waivers, and needs based benefits available through the Oregon Health Plan.
Transition Planning and Vocational Rehabilitation
Together, with Christopher’s parents, our team helped define a vision for Christopher’s future that linked his personal interests with a plan for education and employment. Part of the transition plan included discussing Christopher turning 18 years old and reaching the age of majority.
Establishing an ABLE Account
In order to pay for qualified disability expenses, like housing, we helped Christopher’s family set up an ABLE account in coordination with his special needs trust. The ABLE account provided Christopher with a way to grow funds tax-free, and take distributions with an ABLE account debit card.
Creating a Letter of Intent
We introduced Christopher’s family to a letter of intent after qualifying for the Oregon K-plan. The letter of intent provided a method of recording important information like prescriptions, therapies, daily schedules, and the contact information of key people in Christopher’s life. The letter of intent also helped summarize Christopher’s special interests, favorite activities, and the overall vision from the perspective of his family.
Finding Additional Support for Parents
The unexpected incident that left Christopher permanently disabled created angst and left Christopher’s parents stretched too thin. We helped the family assess what skills were needed from a support worker to provide care for Christopher. The assessment included an employment plan to pay for the support worker from within his special needs trust. Additionally, we helped the parents connect to community programs so they could meet other special needs families.
Palladio Group is extremely proud to be able to help special needs families by combining our financial planning expertise with our knowledge of how to navigate disability and needs-based benefits. Our team members can provide families with access and information to help benefit and provide care for their child.