Legal Services Available for EFMP Families > Hanscom Air Force Base > Article Display

66th Air Base Group legal aid attorneys can help families enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program understand their rights under special education laws or plan for the future of their loved one.

Children enrolled in EFMP often have an Individual Education Plan or Section 504 plan on file with their school, and Hanscom attorneys can help parents become better advocates for themselves and their the education of their children.

These plans are technical and essential to a child’s ability to access an appropriate education. Developing an IEP or Section 504 plan is an evidence-based process, requiring collaboration between the school and parents, in conjunction with expert assessments and evaluations. It is imperative that parents be informed of their rights before, during, and after the process of developing an IEP or Section 504 plan for their children with disabilities.

Additionally, when a severely disabled child reaches adulthood, families often consider seeking guardianship. Guardianship is a legal relationship in which the court appoints a person to care for the adult with a disability and make decisions on their behalf. Hanscom attorneys can help determine if conservatorship might be appropriate. Each state has its own guardianship process, which is governed by state law.

There are other legal procedures that can meet the needs of the adult child, such as a medical or financial power of attorney. Advocates review each case and recommend appropriate courses of action and resources to ensure that each child is protected and to avoid gaps in legal authority over that child’s decision-making.

Lawyers can also help parents determine if a special or additional needs trust is appropriate. SNTs can be a valuable tool for families with children with disabilities. Trusts are legal avenues of action created to ensure that assets go to a beneficiary when owned or managed by another person. SNTs are different from other trusts because they are used specifically to benefit a person who is eligible for government benefits due to financial need, disability, or other limiting condition. SNTs allow people to receive additional financial assistance from a trust, even if they are already receiving government benefits such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income

Basic attorneys may be able to discuss the options available, including broader estate planning, and the potential implications of not having an SNT. These trusts can be complex and heavily dependent on state law. Referral to external lawyers specializing in this area of ​​law may be necessary in some cases.

Although Hanscom attorneys cannot represent clients at due process hearings or IEP meetings, they can provide legal advice and guidance on case preparation and next steps.

To learn more about Hanscom Legal Services, call 781-225-1410 to schedule an appointment.

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