News

CFPD Board Member Named NAELA President

Our own CFPD Board Vice President was recognized as a nationwide leader among his peers last week as he accepted the Presidency of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

Bradley J. Frigon’s expertise has been long in the making. He originally hails from Kansas where he began practicing in the family business with his father, a well-known estate planning attorney, and his brother. He joined NAELA in 1997 and has been part of the organization’s leadership for several years, earning positions as Secretary, Treasurer and Vice President before heading up the group.

His team’s priorities for NAELA, representing over 4,300 members and 26 statewide chapters, include implementing a new educational plan with more online programming and immediate, 24-7 access to member information. Through NAELA’s already-rich website, they hope to promote the exceptional value members have with even more offerings, emphasizing practical day-to-day information for practitioners.

As an organization, NAELA has the tough task of backing and representing state chapters when state statutes and priorities vary widely. They rally consultants in Washington, DC to assure representation in our legislature, take the lead on national initiatives that affect all members (like recent work on the Disabled Child Miilitary Protection Act and the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act), and even provide funding for litigation critical to elder and disability law precedents.

Read more about Brad and his co-Board members on the CFPD website.

Learn about CFPD's 20 years of service in our new video, One Person At A Time. Click the image to watch it right now.

If you want to be in the know about what’s going on at our organization, you’ve come to the right place. Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates.

  • Image of Daily Beast logo“Considering there are 56 million Americans living with a disability, you would think a candidate for president would be looking for opportunities to highlight their remarkable contributions to society, not mock them,” former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge told The Daily Beast. Ridge serves as the chairman of the National Organization on Disability, working alongside former president George H.W. Bush.

    “Just ask any of the companies NOD works with and they’ll tell you people with disabilities are their best workers,” Ridge added.

    “Mr. Trump would be wise to remember the words of NOD’s longtime honorary chairman, President George H.W. Bush, who after signing the ADA into law 25 years ago said to those in attendance: ‘We embrace you for your abilities and for your disabilities, for our similarities and indeed for our differences.’ That is what I call presidential.”

  • Image of Health logoHealth spoke with Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability, a non-profit that focuses on increasing employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities, to weigh in on the photos.

    “Any effort to bring the wheelchair into mainstream media in a positive way is good. It’s often a misconception that women who use wheelchairs aren’t able to be sexy or even have sex, so to the extent that Kylie Jenner is portrayed as sexy while sitting in a wheelchair is not all bad,” she says.

    “However, we are concerned that this portrayal of Jenner—who is not disabled—as an inanimate object and using the wheelchair as a prop, is unfortunate. Instead of being depicted as a prop, wheelchairs should be shown as helping women live free and independent lives.”​

  • Image of Today Show logo“We very much appreciate and recognize the value of celebrities who are portrayed as people who use wheelchairs or as people with disabilities,” said Glazer, whose nonprofit group has teamed up with stars ranging from the late Christopher Reeve to “CSI” actor Robert David Hall. “On the other side, the portrayal of Kylie Jenner in these photographs is as someone who is an inanimate object, and a portrayal alongside inanimate objects.”

    Glazer, who doesn’t use a wheelchair, but cited her own disabilities ranging from hearing problems to severe arthritis, said she was fine with Jenner’s expression of sexuality, but added, “We hope that the next step here, in the media, is to bring into the mainstream really sexy women who are wheelchair users — not just Jenner, who is using a wheelchair as a prop.”

    “[The cover photo] leaves an unfortunate impression,” she said.

  • Image of HuffingtonPost LogoHUFFINGTON POST BLOG By CAROL GLAZER, President, National Organization on Disability

    In a race for talent, companies are now realizing that people with disabilities are a largely untapped pool that, as a result, has seen unemployment rates remain stubbornly high when compared to the general population. So when an employer the size of Starbucks plants a flag and says it is going to make this a priority, others are likely to follow.

    My experience has been that this kind of an effort only succeeds if it is backed by a strong leader who chooses to make disability hiring a priority. That was certainly the case at Walgreens, where former executive Randy Lewis, whose son is autistic, spearheaded one of the most successful disability-hiring initiatives in recent years. At Starbucks, that person is Deverl Maserang, who heads up the company’s global supply chain organization. For leaders like Randy or Deverl, this is not about charity. It’s actually quite the opposite. They need talented men and women who can perform at high levels of productivity. They’ve simply decided not to allow the typical stereotypes to stand in their way of finding outstanding employees who can contribute to the overall success of their organizations.

  • Image of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine logo Kenneth Roman, longtime member of NOD’s Board of Directors and classmate of NOD Founder Alan Reich, retells how a group of college friends built a longstanding disability rights organization.

    Some call them the “Dartmouth Mafia,” those friends and classmates who rallied around Reich after a diving accident in 1962 paralyzed him from the neck down. More than 50 years later, a decade after his death in 2005, a number of his Dartmouth friends are still there for him.

    One of the earliest to visit Reich in the hospital, just 10 days after his accident, was classmate Jack Boyle ’52, who looked down at his pal, who played halfback on the football field, starred as an All-American in track and was a founder and coach of the rugby team, and commiserated about bad luck.

    “Come on, Jack,” Reich shot back. “Walking’s not everything in life.”

Affordable Care ActThe Impact on Special Needs Trusts

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will roll out over four years and beyond.

The ACA removes lifetime limits on health benefits and creates new coverage options for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Colorado later approved Medicaid Expansion for individuals under 65 years of age with income below 133 percent of the federal poverty level (Approximately $15,000 for an individual), which began January 2014. There is currently no asset test for this program.

What is NOT changing with the implementation of the ACA? (Why a Trust is still needed)

The Medicaid Waiver Program will remain the only real benefit program that will cover significant custodial home care services for people with disabilities.

Long-term care in Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Facilities will still be paid by Medicaid when an individual does not have Long-Term Care Insurance, or income/resources to privately pay.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will continue to have a resource limit of $2,000 for individuals.

When a Trust May Not Be Needed

When an individual who meets the income requirements for Medicaid Expansion and does NOT need Long-Term Care or a Waiver program receives a windfall (PI Settlement, Back-payment in SSA, Inheritance), as there is no asset test for the Medicaid Expansion Service.

Individuals need to evaluate their eligibility for other programs such as LEAP, Food Stamps, etc.

Individuals need to evaluate the other benefits of placing funds in a Special Needs Trust, like:
- Budgeting – CFPD provides a plan for spending or saving to reflect your goals
- Protection from exploitation.
- CFPD provides a link to a network of community partners and resources.

So what are my next steps?

Consult with an attorney who is well-versed in the Affordable Care Act.

Call CFPD to discuss your individual situation. Our staff have been trained in the ACA and follow the implementation of new services and the impact of SNTs.

  • Image of Daily Beast logo“Considering there are 56 million Americans living with a disability, you would think a candidate for president would be looking for opportunities to highlight their remarkable contributions to society, not mock them,” former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge told The Daily Beast. Ridge serves as the chairman of the National Organization on Disability, working alongside former president George H.W. Bush.

    “Just ask any of the companies NOD works with and they’ll tell you people with disabilities are their best workers,” Ridge added.

    “Mr. Trump would be wise to remember the words of NOD’s longtime honorary chairman, President George H.W. Bush, who after signing the ADA into law 25 years ago said to those in attendance: ‘We embrace you for your abilities and for your disabilities, for our similarities and indeed for our differences.’ That is what I call presidential.”

  • Image of Health logoHealth spoke with Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability, a non-profit that focuses on increasing employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities, to weigh in on the photos.

    “Any effort to bring the wheelchair into mainstream media in a positive way is good. It’s often a misconception that women who use wheelchairs aren’t able to be sexy or even have sex, so to the extent that Kylie Jenner is portrayed as sexy while sitting in a wheelchair is not all bad,” she says.

    “However, we are concerned that this portrayal of Jenner—who is not disabled—as an inanimate object and using the wheelchair as a prop, is unfortunate. Instead of being depicted as a prop, wheelchairs should be shown as helping women live free and independent lives.”​

  • Image of Today Show logo“We very much appreciate and recognize the value of celebrities who are portrayed as people who use wheelchairs or as people with disabilities,” said Glazer, whose nonprofit group has teamed up with stars ranging from the late Christopher Reeve to “CSI” actor Robert David Hall. “On the other side, the portrayal of Kylie Jenner in these photographs is as someone who is an inanimate object, and a portrayal alongside inanimate objects.”

    Glazer, who doesn’t use a wheelchair, but cited her own disabilities ranging from hearing problems to severe arthritis, said she was fine with Jenner’s expression of sexuality, but added, “We hope that the next step here, in the media, is to bring into the mainstream really sexy women who are wheelchair users — not just Jenner, who is using a wheelchair as a prop.”

    “[The cover photo] leaves an unfortunate impression,” she said.

  • Image of HuffingtonPost LogoHUFFINGTON POST BLOG By CAROL GLAZER, President, National Organization on Disability

    In a race for talent, companies are now realizing that people with disabilities are a largely untapped pool that, as a result, has seen unemployment rates remain stubbornly high when compared to the general population. So when an employer the size of Starbucks plants a flag and says it is going to make this a priority, others are likely to follow.

    My experience has been that this kind of an effort only succeeds if it is backed by a strong leader who chooses to make disability hiring a priority. That was certainly the case at Walgreens, where former executive Randy Lewis, whose son is autistic, spearheaded one of the most successful disability-hiring initiatives in recent years. At Starbucks, that person is Deverl Maserang, who heads up the company’s global supply chain organization. For leaders like Randy or Deverl, this is not about charity. It’s actually quite the opposite. They need talented men and women who can perform at high levels of productivity. They’ve simply decided not to allow the typical stereotypes to stand in their way of finding outstanding employees who can contribute to the overall success of their organizations.

  • Image of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine logo Kenneth Roman, longtime member of NOD’s Board of Directors and classmate of NOD Founder Alan Reich, retells how a group of college friends built a longstanding disability rights organization.

    Some call them the “Dartmouth Mafia,” those friends and classmates who rallied around Reich after a diving accident in 1962 paralyzed him from the neck down. More than 50 years later, a decade after his death in 2005, a number of his Dartmouth friends are still there for him.

    One of the earliest to visit Reich in the hospital, just 10 days after his accident, was classmate Jack Boyle ’52, who looked down at his pal, who played halfback on the football field, starred as an All-American in track and was a founder and coach of the rugby team, and commiserated about bad luck.

    “Come on, Jack,” Reich shot back. “Walking’s not everything in life.”