Posted by: Katie May

On May 23, 2013 Sen. Kay Hagan introduced S. 1076, the Disabled Military Child Protection Act of 2013. Rep. James Moran introduced similar legislation under the same title, H.R. 2249, on June 4, 2013. This legislation amends the rules for beneficiary payments of military annuities for deceased veterans by allowing payment to a special needs trust for the benefit of a disabled child.

Currently, unlike most citizens, the respected members of our armed forces with disabled children are not permitted to roll their survivor benefits into a special needs trust for the benefit of that child.  Therefore, the disabled child must be the direct beneficiary. The unfortunate result of this fact is that the disabled child will likely become disqualified from other means-tested government benefits available to disabled individuals, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Social Security Income.

The benefit of a special needs trust is that it provides a disabled individual with supplemental funds to pay for those needs not otherwise covered by available government benefits. This includes clothing, medical co-payments, transportation, recreation and participation in activities of interest as well as access to family and friends. These items provide for that individual a quality of life every parent hopes to give their child.

We contacted our Congressional representatives and requested they support this legislation and are asking you to do the same. Please contact your congressional representatives and ask them to support this legislation as not only does it allow our service members the same abilities of their civilian counterparts, but because their service to our country demands our protection of their disabled children! Our military men and women make immense sacrifices for us on a daily basis. We cannot continue to ask them to sacrifice their disabled children’s quality of life as well.

You can find the name and contact information for your representative here.

If you have any questions about the legislation, please contact our office at 630-682-0700.