Planning Ahead for Your Child with Special Needs
Posted on February 25, 2019 by All In
As your child approaches adulthood, you might be wondering, “Who will take care of my child when I’m gone?” or “Will my child be able to get a job and survive on their own?”. While this may be a daunting prospect, it is important to plan ahead and ensure that your child will continue to be cared for in the long run.
In this article, we will be covering some of the ways you can provide for your child as you grow older. We will also be covering employment and housing programmes and schemes available for adults with special needs.
Special Needs Trust
What is a Trust?
It is a legal relationship where a person is responsible for holding and managing assets for the benefit of another person, namely the child with special needs.
Special Needs Trust Company (SNTC)
Special Needs Trust Company (SNTC) is the only non-profit trust company, supported by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and National Council of Social Service (NCSS).
The SNTC allows you to put money and assets away in the trust you have set up to support your loved ones with special needs when you are no longer around.
You can find out more about the SNTC Trust in our quick guide.
Deciding between a private trust and a non-profit (SNTC) trust? This short article may help.
Special Needs Savings Scheme
This scheme was developed by Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in partnership with Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB).
This scheme enables you to set aside your CPF savings for the care of your child in the long run. It is useful for parents who do not have a lot of savings outside of their CPF.
When parents pass away, the child with special needs will receive pre-determined monthly payouts until the parent’s savings are exhausted.
Write a Will with Special Directions to Provide for Child’s Financial Needs
When writing your will, it may not be advisable not to leave all your assets to your child with special needs if he/she may not have the ability to make sound financial decisions on their own.
In this case, you can ask family members or close friends to manage the inheritance on the child’s behalf.
Appoint a Testamentary Guardian
What is a Guardian?
A guardian is a person with legal rights and responsibilities over a child younger than 21 years old. A testamentary guardian is usually a family member or family friend.
It is important that the family member or close friend you choose as the testamentary guardian has a good bond with the child as well as the ability to handle the commitment that comes with caring for the child.
Apply to Appoint a Deputy for the Child Lacking Mental Capacity
If your child is at least 21 years old and his or her disability affects their ability to make decisions, you could appoint a deputy.
What is a Deputy?
The deputy has the power to make decisions on the child’s personal welfare and/or property and affairs on the child’s behalf.
A deputy is usually a family member or a close family friend. They should be someone who is able to relate to the child and that other members of the family can trust or rely on.
This takes effect upon successful appointment and not only when parents are deceased.
Read more about appointing a deputy here.
Buy Insurance Policies
What is Life Insurance?
Life insurance policies are purchased through monthly premiums which pays out as a lump sum or annuity to your child after you pass away.
- Term Life Insurance: provides coverage for you child for a specified amount of time. Once the term has expired, insurance company can decide whether to renew the policy.
- Whole Life Insurance: provides coverage for the whole of the insured’s lifetime
Other insurance options for parents of children with special needs:
- Medical Insurance Policies: Presently it is difficult to insure children with special needs but some insurance companies may be willing to insure medical conditions that are unrelated to the child’s existing conditions. If parents choose to insure their child and later on they contract the illness, the child could benefit from payouts from the insurance companies.
- Insurance policies that cater specifically to persons with special needs: Such policies could cover the child with special needs for medical expenses from accidents and infectious diseases. Other benefits include reimbursement for mobility aids, psychiatric treatment and physiotherapy, home modifications and caregiver training following an accident.
Write a Letter of Intent
This document provides important information to help caregivers of your child get a better understanding of how to care for your child when you are no longer around.
Such information could include:
- Medical history with diagnoses
- Food preferences or food restrictions
- Daily living skills and sleep patterns
- Habits including challenging behaviours
- A list of social/recreational activities enjoyed
Students with special needs currently studying in institutes of higher learning, such as universities and polytechnics.
IHL Internship Programme
The SG Enable IHL Internship Programme provides internship opportunities for students with disabilities. Students will be matched with prestigious and inclusive organisations in various sectors according to their course of study, interests and preferences. They will learn practical work-related knowledge and skills through this experience that will be very valuable when they look for a real job in the future.
RISE Mentorship Programme
RISE Mentorship is a 12 week programme where students with special needs are matched with business leaders from corporate, MNCs and other inclusive employers. This programme can help students gain a better understanding of their skills and abilities, build networks and tap into the mentor’s knowledge.
School-to-work Transition Programme
The school-to-work programme is a collaboration between Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and SG Enable, in partnership with SPED schools. This programme aims to make the transition from school to employment easier for students. Your child will be recommended a pathway according to his/her profile and needs. Under the training pathway, your child may also undergo various training and activities to prepare them for their future job.
Sheltered Workshops offer employment and/or vocational training to adults with disabilities who do not possess the competencies or skills for open employment. Participants will gain valuable experience through this workshop that will increase their employability.
Children Disability Homes
Children Disability Homes provide long term care to children with disabilities that have been neglected or whose caregivers are no longer able to support them. The children can take part in recreational activities and training as well as get the therapy they require during their stay at the home.
Adult Disability Homes
Adult Disability Homes provides long term care to adults with disabilities that have been neglected or whose caregivers are no longer able to support them. Similar to children disability homes, they also take part in recreational activities and training as well as the required therapy.
Adult Disability Hostels
If your child with special needs is able to function well in society on their own but is unable to live with family members, adult disability hostels could be an option of accommodation to consider. The hostel aims to help individuals resume independent living back at their own homes.
Community Group Home (CGH)
Community Group Homes are another alternative of housing for adults with disabilities and require minimum support within the community. These group homes aim to improve their quality of life by slowly integrating them into society. CGHs enable persons with disabilities to live independently in designated HDB rental flats retrofitted with disabled-friendly features.
All content found on the All In website, has been created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.