The Arc Financial Planning Video Series

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Bio: The Arc is an organization serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was founded in the 1950s by parents of people with developmental disabilities. The Arc has been very vocal on the advocacy front and in the research efforts for people with disabilities in the last few decades.

One of the big challenges for individuals with disabilities and their families is finding ways to structure finances to aid with lifetime support. The Arc’s Center for Future Planning made a video series to help address such issues. Below is an overview of the contents, with links to each of the five videos. 

Spanish speakers, great news! The Arc has done a similar video series in Spanish too. You can find them here

Video 1: An Overview Of ABLE Accounts

This video will give you an insight into ABLE Accounts, what they are, whether you are eligible, what the ABLE Accounts can pay for, the rules that apply to ABLE Accounts and how to get started in case you have been stuck. (Ed. note: The name ABLE is derived from the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014, better known as the ABLE Act by Stephen Beck Jr.)

  • What’s an ABLE Account?
  • Who is eligible?
  • What can ABLE Accounts pay for?
  • What rules apply to ABLE Accounts?
  • How does an ABLE Account Work? 
  • How do I get started?

Video 2: An Overview Of Special Needs Trusts

This video gives an overview of Special Needs Trust. It defines what a Special Needs Trust is, why you would consider it, what the trust can pay for, how it works, how the trust is funded and how to get started right away. 

  • What is a Special Needs Trust?
  • Why should someone consider a Special Needs Trust?
  • What can a Special Needs Trust pay for? 
  • How does a Special Needs Trust work?
  • How do we fund a trust?
  • How do I get started?

Video 3: ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts: How are they different?

ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trust share similarities because they help people with disabilities live a better life, but they have several differences. This video gives an overview of how ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts are different.

  • They differ in terms of eligibility of a person with a disability
  • They differ in the number of accounts one can have
  • They differ in the amount of money you can have in the account
  • They differ in what they can pay for
  • They differ in who decides how to spend the money

Video 4: Pooled Special Needs Trusts

This video covers Pooled Special Needs Trust, also called Pooled Trusts. It will dive into what trusts are and when you might want to use a Pooled Trust.

  • What is a Pooled Trust?
  • Why consider a Pooled Trust?
  • Why should you research your Pooled Trust options?
  • How do you find Pooled Trusts?

Video 5: How Death Affects The Money Left in ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts

The big question usually is, what happens to the money left in the accounts if the person with a disability passes? This video will cover what rules Medicaid has about what happens and what you should know when you set up the account.

  • What happens to the money?
  • What is Medicaid payback?
  • What does the law say?
  • Must you pay Medicaid back?

Additional resources: The SynGAP Resource Fund’s Blog page provides a wealth of experience around the topic of long term planning for Syngapians from caregivers who have been on this path. Use the Search feature to search on terms such as long term planning, ABLE account, special needs trust, and more.