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Housing options for special needs adults

Many words have been written about meeting the challenges of caring for children with special needs. Somehow, the challenges of caring for adults with special needs has received far less attention.

In this post, we will focus on a single essential need for Georgia adults with special needs: adequate housing.

One long-standing option is allowing special needs adults to live with their parents or another family member. This option has the advantage of low cost, and family members who provide services to their child or sibling can receive payment for those services. However, the advantages of this arrangement may be time-limited. Living with one's parents under any set of circumstances can burden all parties to the arrangement. For example, as parents age, their ability to provide adequate care to a special needs child may significantly diminish.

A second option is what is commonly called Section 8 Housing. Under Section 8, a person with low income can obtain governmental subsidies for housing. Section 8 recipients must pay about one-third of their monthly income for rent. Individuals who receive either Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments can also qualify for Section 8 benefits. Unfortunately, Section 8 benefits are usually not sufficient for people with extreme disabilities.

A number of other options can be grouped under the title of assisted living: supportive housing, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, or special needs trust ownership.

Each option has qualification standards and specific legal requirements. A lawyer experienced in special needs planning can provide advice on how to match each program with the needs of a specific individual.

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