When faced with the emotional and medical challenges of a special needs child, you might not be able to spare the time to think about their future as an adult. Maybe you needed to take it one day at a time, to carefully hope for a long and happy future for them.
However, when the day comes, and you realize your child has become an adult, what is your plan to help them achieve their lifelong goals? Do you know how a special needs trusts can help them live to the fullest?
What are your options in Orange County?
Every person’s abilities and dreams are unique. Luckily, there are a variety of options you can choose from in Orange County to help them grow and establish themselves as adults.
The following are general living situations for adults with special needs, whether physical, mental or both:
- With close family
- In a licensed community care home with other adults with disabilities: 3-5 people to a home, plus care and support staff as needed.
- In a licensed intermediate care facility with access to specialize medical care
- Alone but in a “Supported Living” arrangement
The Regional Center of Orange County can connect you with an advisory team to help find the services and support that is right for your child. They can help to find your child a job, a school, a volunteer program and recreational activities tailored just for them.
Your child might also be eligible for In-Home Supportive Services that are general support services. These help relatively independent individuals with skills such as budgeting, shopping, cooking and more.
How does a Special Needs Trust fit into this?
When you organize a Special Needs Trust for your child, it is important to remember that a relatively independent adult’s needs are different from a minor’s. If they choose to live away from home, your trust must be flexible enough to adjust to paying for this new expense.
If your child or the staff attending your child mention that they would like to work on budgeting skills, your trust may need to be able to accommodate that without risking their savings. A trust is a perfect framework to use to start these discussions.
In California, Medi-Cal covers most costs associated with living in a specialized medical health care home, or your living expenses. However, you should carefully arrange this with a service coordinator to avoid unnecessary expenses and to maximize your budget.
It is possible for your child to live a fulfilling life outside of your family home while supporting their physical and mental needs. With the right coordination, they can enjoy all the world has to offer in a way that protects their finances and helps them excel.