FAQ

  • 1. HHSC
  • 2. Special Needs Trust
  • 3. Guardianship
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Texas has three types of Special Needs Trusts
Guardianship of an adult child with disabilities
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  • 1. Is MDCP/DADS being dissolved and added to The Health and Human Service Department?
     

    Yes. DADS will be abolished and merged with the Texas HHSC per the terms of Senate Bill 200, made into law last summer. In the 1st phase, Texas Health and Human Services Center (HHSC) will have transferred to its control select function of the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), client services of the DADS and the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). and administrative services of the Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) system, set for September 1, 2016. Further, DARS is scheduled to be abolished September 1, 2016. The 2nd Phase includes the abolishment of DADS September 1, 2017. For more information of the transformation of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, click on the link below.  http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/hhs-transformation/docs/transition-plan.pdf

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  • 2. Will my child who receives traditional Medicaid be put on STAR+PLUS HMO or kicked off as of Nov. 1, 2016?
     

    Medicaid programs are managed by the Health and Human Services Commission. It does not appear that traditional Medicaid is changing in 2016. The Medicaid Help Line is 1-800-335-8957 and Handbook can be found at http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/QuickAnswers/TradMedHandbook.pdf.

    Program changes you will see on September 1, 2016 include the creation of STAR Kids - a program starting September 1, 2016, for children age 20 and younger with disabilities or special health-care needs. As a result, after September 1, 2016, STAR+PLUS, a program that covers basic medical services and long-term services and supports (LTSS), will serve people age 21 and older.

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  • 1. My family is not rich - do we need a Special Needs Trust?
     

    There are different reasons to justify paying for a Special Needs Trust. If your child receives or may receive government benefits, such as SSI, read more below.

    If you are going to be receiving child support for your child with special needs, you should have your Divorce Decree or SAPCR specify that child support payments should be paid into a 1st Party Special Needs Trust.  Another situation where a 1st Party Special Needs Trust is necessary is for settlement or lawsuit funds for the personal injury of your child with special needs.

    In the event you or family members wish to leave an inheritance or life insurance benefits to a child with special needs, a 3rd Party Special Needs Trust should be explored for the preservation of eligibility of government benefits.

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  • 1. When should I file for guardianship of my disabled child?
     

    Start talking to an attorney familiar with how the Texas Estates Code applies to proposed wards with special needs approximately 6 months before your child's 18th birthday.

    Texas recognizes that a citizen becomes an adult at the age of 18.  With that acknowledgment comes rights and responsibilities. Parents with children with special needs are typically the strongest advocates for their children; however, once that child turns 18, parents may no longer be invited or included in relevant discussions and leave decision-making up to your 18 year old child.

    Request an appointment today.

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  • 2. What do I do if my adult child does not need guardianship, but needs help?
     

    There are possibly options other than guardianship to explore and discuss with your attorney.

    If the circumstances are applicable, the Texas Estates Code requires the use of less restrictive alternatives to guardianship. Such alternatives include, but are not limited to, Surrogate Decision-Making as described in the Texas Health and Safety Code Sections 313.001-313.007.  If the adult child has capacity, parents can be appointed in a Durable Power of Attorney under Texas Estates Code, Chapter 752 and Medical Power of Attorney under Texas Health and Safety Code Sections 166.151-166.155.

    Contact an attorney to review your situation for proper advice.

     

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3 Comments
  1. Thank you so much for all your help and God Bless! I’ve saved your page to share with those that have asked me in the past when seeking an attorney(s) for special need children and adults.

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