Transition Planning for Students with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
Individuals who receive SSI automatically qualify for Medicaid
Families need to be educated about SSI work incentives and income limits in order to help young adults work without losing benefits
Shepherd Center Benefits Navigator Program is a free service and can help guide families who already receive SSI benefits.
Vocational Rehabilitation also has benefits navigators.
Age of Majority
Part of a student’s transition is taking on adult responsibilities once they reach the age of majority, which in Georgia is age 18.
At age 18, parents or guardians no longer make IEP decisions, unless they obtain guardianship or Power of Attorney.
Parents are still invited to IEP meetings.
Guardianship allows the parent or guardian to retain control over an adult child’s health and wellbeing.
Can apply when your child is 17 ½
Examine the pros and cons
If you are planning to get guardianship, plan for the expense
Guardianship takes all of an individual’s rights unless specified in court
There is a cost to file for guardianship ($700+)
*Piece of advice: If wanting to use an attorney to file for guardianship, choose one that charges a flat fee ($1000-$1500) not hourly.
Conservatorship allows the parent or guardian to retain control over an adult child’s finances (money and property)
Conservators must report to the court once a year.
Conservatorship can be obtained at the same time as guardianship
Power of Attorney
An individual has to agree to Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney can be revoked by adult child
Power of Attorney gives parent or guardian broad legal authority over individual’s affairs
Special Power of Attorney can be limited to certain things ex. Medical, Financial, Personal or Educational
Individuals can keep their rights (marry, sign contracts)
There is no fee unless you choose to use a service
Waiver Services and Supports
There are several types of Waiver programs in the state of Georgia. These Waiver programs help people who are elderly or have disabilities and need help to live in their home or community instead of an institution.
The most common type of Waiver programs required to provide support for students with significant disabilities who are transitioning out of high school are the New Options Waiver (NOW) and the Comprehensive Supports Waiver (Comp).
Applications for NOW/Comp Waivers can be completed as early as three years old. Once individuals are approved for a waiver, they are usually put on a long-term waiting list. It is best to apply for NOW/Comp Waiver services as early as possible. Children who are receiving services through a Katie Beckett/Deeming Waiver are still eligible to apply for and be put on a waiting list for a NOW/Comp Waiver.
Post-secondary supports provided by NOW/Comp Waivers include, but are not limited to:
Group community access (Day program)
Individual community access
Community Residential Alternative (Group home)
Support Coordination Services
Financial Support Services