WHO WE’VE HELPED
Proxy Parent Foundation offers both a compassionate concern and an expert combination of legal, financial and social resources.
Mental illness struck Tina (not her real name), a young, talented photographer with dreams and hopes of working in the music business. Her story illustrates how Proxy Parent Foundation can help many families. After years as a public mental health system patient, in and out of locked facilities, hospitals, and outpatient treatment programs, Tina’s unrelenting psychiatric symptoms remained. Before his death, Tina’s father was her conservator. Then the conservatorship lapsed, he passed away and Tina was left with a large sum of money.
Unfortunately, her inheritance was left directly to her and not to a Special Needs Trust. As her widowed mother looked on helplessly, Tina squandered her inheritance and was victimized by community predators. She stopped outpatient mental health treatment and lost her Supplemental Social Security Income.
After consulting with their family attorney, Tina’s mother turned to the Proxy Parent Foundation to create a PLAN of California Special Needs Trust to safeguard Tina’s remaining funds and ensure her eligibility for entitlement funds. The family also received Personal Support Services from a Proxy Parent Foundation Personal Support Specialist. Personal Support Services may include finding and moving to suitable housing, medication education, helping maintain health care, life skills tutoring, obtaining work and education, social activities, continuous friendship, shopping, or entertainment. The Proxy Parent Foundation Personal Support Specialist was able to establish a trusting relationship with Tina and her mother and find safe housing and help Tina accept an outpatient mental health program.
Just like a caring family, Proxy Parent Foundation helps coordinate social services and medical care for Proxy Parent beneficiaries with mental illness by acting as a “proxy parent”.
Fifteen years ago, when Lou’s (not his real name) mother’s health was deteriorating, she set up a Proxy Parent Foundation PLAN of California Special Needs Trust to be funded upon her death. She also contracted with Proxy Parent Foundation to start its Personal Support Services for Lou prior to her death on a pay-as-you-go basis.
When Lou suffered a serious physical illness that might have ended his life, his Proxy Parent Foundation Personal Support Specialist was with him every step of the way, visiting regularly, coordinating post-surgery care and helping arrange stays at various convalescent homes during Lou’s long recovery.
When Lou’s mom died, his Personal Support Specialist helped him through his grief providing the support of a surrogate family – now his only family. Stricken again, this time by a life threatening illness, Lou’s Proxy Parent Foundation Personal Support Specialist helped him through the six months of treatment it took for him to get back on his feet. Knowing Lou prior to his mother’s death as well as the history of his other medical illnesses and his mental illness, helped the Proxy Parent Foundation care for Lou as a loving parent would. That continuity of service is frequently missing from the public mental health system and that is what Proxy Parent Foundation is about.
For 15 years, Lou’s “best friend” has been his Proxy Parent Foundation Personal Support Specialist. Through his Proxy Parent Foundation PLAN of California Special Needs Trust, his government benefits are protected. Proxy Parent Foundation is an example of what dedicated community members, disability advocates and professional social and financial expertise can accomplish.
A Proxy Parent Foundation PLAN of California Special Needs Trust can be funded with personal funds belonging to the disabled person.
When a person on disability has assets of more than $2000, they may not qualify for government-sponsored disability and entitlement programs such as Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) and Medi-Cal health coverage. Alana (not her real name) suddenly became tragically disabled. An uninsured motorist ran Alana (not her real name) down on the sidewalk in a large metropolitan City. She is now a quadriplegic. An American citizen, she had been working outside the U.S. for an American company that did not have to provide disability insurance. She had some savings but not enough to pay for extended rehabilitation or rent in a facility that could help her to live independently in the future. Without an income and no health insurance, no rehabilitation center would accept her and she had to remain in an indigent convalescent hospital.
Proxy Parent Foundation provided Alana the necessary documents to join the Proxy Parent Foundation PLAN of California Master Pooled Trust. Because she no longer had personal control over her meager savings, she could now qualify for Medi-Cal and Social Supplemental Income to pay for her medical costs and housing.
Proxy Parent Foundation supplements rather than supplants the public system. Some of the benefits Alana has received from her Proxy Parent Foundation PLAN of California Master Pooled Trust include a motorized wheel chair that could not be provided by Medi-Cal. She hopes eventually to have a special computer that will allow her to return to employment. And, with her increased mobility and new employment skills, hopefully, she will someday be able to live independently.
Proxy Parent Foundation is a model of the private nonprofit sector stepping in to help those affected by disability.
Rhonda (not her real name) had a Special Needs Trust. But the quasi-public trustee could no longer administer it for her when the regional center decided she no longer qualified for developmental disability services. She was expecting a baby and with no extended family to help her, she was at risk living on her own without “extra help”. Proxy Parent Foundation became the successor trustee of her Special Needs Trust. As trustee, Proxy Parent Foundation made arrangements with Rhonda’s existing care manager from the regional center to continue working individually with Rhonda privately. Together, Proxy Parent Foundation and her care manager developed a budget with Rhonda so she could provide her baby with the little extras any young mother wants for her newborn child. When the baby girl was born, she was seriously ill and required extensive neo-natal hospital care. Proxy Parent Foundation, as trustee for Rhonda’s Special Needs Trust, made arrangements so that Rhonda could stay close to her baby and visit daily. When the baby was released, Rhonda’s care manager made sure that Rhonda had a visiting nurse and other services to help her adequately mother her child.
Proxy Parent Foundation’s PLAN of California Master Pooled Trust is open to all disability types, ages, and has no minimum asset requirement.
Ralph (not his real name), a disabled man, was part of a class action settlement with a drug manufacturer. Settlement attorneys referred him to the Proxy Parent Foundation PLAN of California Master Pooled Trust. Ralph was able to “self-settle” his small settlement into the PLAN of California Master Pooled Trust without additional attorney fees that would have dissipated the settlement amount. As a result of his participation in a Proxy Parent Foundation PLAN of California Master Pooled Trust, he remains qualified for his government benefits and the settlement funds will be utilized for the additional care he now needs as a result of the medication side effects that led to the class action settlement.
Proxy Parent Foundation provides services more efficiently and cost effectively than can be provided independently.
Patty (not her real name), a middle aged woman, suffered from progressive multiple sclerosis that prevented her from working. Although she had a small savings, she could no longer hope to pay her growing medical costs. Even with a small savings account, the amount prevented her from qualifying for Medi-Cal or other government benefits. Upon her attorney’s advice, she joined the Proxy Parent Foundation’s PLAN of California Master Pooled Trust by simply signing a joinder agreement. Without the expense of a court proceeding, her small savings now helps her maintain her car so that she can travel to medical appointments.
Without Proxy Parent Foundation, it is difficult or impossible for many disabled people or their families to establish or administer a Special Needs Trust independently.
When his father passed away, he left Jon (not his real name) a small inheritance directly. Accepting it would have resulted in the loss of government benefits that paid for Jon’s medical care, housing and food. Yet, the inheritance was not enough to cover those expenses or Jon’s supplemental needs paid by his father when he was alive.
Because the Proxy Parent Foundation’s PLAN of California Master Pooled Trust is organized under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA ’93), Jon could “self-settle” into the Trust. His attorney was able to review the documents and court application and approval was not required. The executor of his father’s estate deposited Jon’s inheritance directly into the Proxy Parent Foundation’s PLAN of California Master Pooled Trust.
The funds are now available and Proxy Parent Foundation, as his trustee, will disburse them for his supplemental needs such as additional health care and the educational opportunities that improve Jon’s quality of life.
Proxy Parent Foundation helps families answer the question, “Who will care when I’m not there.”
Ellen and Lawrence (not their real names) turned to the Proxy Parent Foundation. Their son, Harold (not his real name) would lose his government benefits if they left him an inheritance directly and they couldn’t leave enough to provide for Harold’s living and medical expenses over his lifetime. They joined a Proxy Parent Foundation’s Special Needs Trust for Harold through a provision in their living will.
Five years later, Lawrence passed away; three months after that, Ellen died. Proxy Parent Foundation immediately became Harold’s “proxy parent”. A Proxy Parent Foundation-contracted Personal Support Specialist took Harold to the family home to gather mementos. Together, they attended Ellen’s funeral.
Today, Proxy Parent Foundation’s Personal Support Specialist is one of Harold’s most trusted friends. Harold receives personal care and his government benefits are protected. Weekly, they see a movie, shop, or sometimes just chat. Proxy Parent Foundation also helps Harold follow-through on his medical appointments and obtains annual season tickets to the opera for Harold. These are “extras” his parents wanted Harold to enjoy.