Additional Information

American Bar Association, Legal Guide for Americans Over 50 (Random House Reference 2006).  This book is an excellent and accessible resource for lay persons that provides definitions to legal terms in plain English.  It includes expert answers to questions related to Medicare and Medicaid, planning for retirement, and information on long-term needs of the elderly and those who care for them.

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)

NAELA is an association for elder law attorneys with over 4,000 attorney members. Their website includes information on elder law and how to select an elder law attorney, and a searchable directory of member attorneys with experience and training in working with the legal problems of the aging and people with disabilities.

Social Security Disability Information

The website of the Social Security Administration (SSA) includes information about the Social Security disability insurance program, application requirements and an on-line application.

Social Security Compassionate Allowances Program

IInformation about the SSA Compassionate Allowance Program can be found through this weblink:  http://www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances/ or by contacting: 1-800-772-1213 or  compassionate.allowances@ssa.gov


FTD and Property Tax Relief

Every state government in the U.S. administers some type of Property Tax Relief Program to help protect people at risk of losing their home or residence because they cannot afford to pay property taxes. State and local governments throughout the U.S. use revenue from property taxes to pay for the services they provide, such as public education, law enforcement and emergency services, and maintaining public infrastructure such as streets and buildings. The quality of these public services is often reflected in the value of local residential properties, which directly influences the amount owners must pay to state and municipal governments in property taxes. However, residential properties do not generate personal income for the owner regardless of its value. When residential property values increase beyond what personal income allows owners to pay in property taxes, people are at risk of losing their home, and rental prices become unaffordable. This is particularly true for people with a low or fixed income, such as retirees and the disabled.

Every state in the U.S. offers a Property Tax Relief program to address this problem, and many states have multiple programs designed for a variety of needs. The rules and regulations of each program are set by state law and implemented by the local government agency administering the program. In some states, eligibility is determined solely by the ratio of income to property tax burden. Other states restrict participation to those who have reached retirement age or are unable to work due to a disability. The majority of programs are only for owners, though a few states make them available to renters as well. Some programs offer a complete exemption from property taxes while others set an upper limit on the amount that can be exempted or freeze the tax rate at a lower level regardless of increases in property values. Many states call these programs “property tax relief” or something along those lines, but they also often are referred to as “homestead exemptions.”  To learn more about what property tax relief may be available where you live, contact the taxation or revenue department in your state. Please visit this website to get started: http://taxation.lawyers.com/income-tax/State-Revenue-and-Taxation-Department-Websites.html

Special thanks to Sheri T. Rouse, an attorney in  Alabama handling employee benefit claims for employees nationwide.  She shared the topic of property tax relief with AFTD.  Her husband was diagnosed with FTD in 2010 at the age of 43.