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Pallone Accepts Award for Advocacy on Behalf of Persons with Disabilities

October 3, 2016
Press Release

LONG BRANCH – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) accepted an award from the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) recognizing him as an Outstanding Advocate for Persons with Disabilities. The award was given to Congressman Pallone for his working championing the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, which passed the House of Representatives earlier this month.

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act (HR 670) is bipartisan legislation, introduced last year by Congressman Pallone and Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) to allow a disabled individual to set up a Special Needs Trust on their own. A Special Needs Trust is a special type of trust that is designed to supplement certain daily living expenses and medical care. As the law is currently written, disabled individuals must have a parent, grandparent, guardian or the court create a Special Needs Trust on their behalf.  For those who may not have an available individual willing to establish the trust on their behalf, this can create significant logistical and financial barriers, and places an undue burden on the individual and our already overworked court system.  The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act will remove this barrier, and allow individuals with disabilities, when appropriate, to create their own Special Needs Trust, which will empower them to be responsible for their own life decisions and have access to what is rightly theirs.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone as dedicated as Rep. Pallone advocating for access to long-term services and supports right here in New Jersey,” said Carl Archer, the President of NAELA’s New Jersey Chapter.

NAELA is a national, non-profit association of attorneys who work to improve the lives and solve legal problems of persons with disabilities of all ages. Since the NAELA’s founding in 1987, they have been champions for the rights of individuals with special needs.

“It is an honor to be recognized by such a noble organization that has profoundly impacted the lives of so many seniors and individuals with disabilities,” said Pallone. “I am very thankful to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys for this award and I look forward to the positive changes the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act will provide to persons with disabilities.