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Thread: Recent Accident to My Son

  1. #331
    Just a thought: There might be a discount on the property taxes for a disabled person offered and in addition to that, you may want to check to see what fair market value the property is tax assessed for. It is often higher than the current market value these days. If this is the case, find out what is involved in getting the assessment lowered. This combination could cut the taxes by more than half. Good Luck!

  2. #332
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    Ginamarie

    Thanks for the suggestion. We will do exactly what you suggested.

    Roger

  3. #333
    I told Brian about the reduced homeowner tax for the state of MD as well as to see if the City of Baltimore waves any tax from Johns Hopkins employees/students. The majority of the tax is from the city of Baltimore. I live in another county and my state tax = my county tax.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  4. #334
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    We got back to Phoenix from Baltimore last night at about 7:00 pm. This morning Brian and my wife flew to Stanford for an appointment to have the cast removed from Brian's arm. It's been a busy five days. Brian is wrestling with the decision to move to Baltimore. What bothers Brian most about Baltimore is that there are so many places that are inaccessible. As you drive down the street it seems like every home and every business located in an older building has several steps in front of the entrance. Brian sees these steps as barriers and it bothers him.

    On Friday while Brian and my wife attended events at Hopkins I went with a Realtor and looked at condos. It was interesting. The condos that I looked at in downtown Baltimore were not good, most were very dated and dirty. This Old House has obviously not been to Baltimore to rehabbed any of these buildings.

    After a Saturday morning event at Hopkins we all went with the Realtor and looked at several condos in the Baltimore Canton district. These condos were much better. Lighthouse Point was the Canton development that I found on the Internet. There were several condos for sale at Lighthouse Point for about $200,000. The $200,000 units didn't have much of a view they overlooked a plain gray concrete central courtyard. There was one unit for $280,000 that had a nice view of the harbor. It's always the same old story when you see something that you really like it's always just out of reach. In this case there's a solution, instead of retiring I'll just work another 40 years.

    We had another financial blow on Friday the Hopkins financial aid person told Brian that he wasn't eligible for any financial assistance because his disability income made his income too high to qualify. It doesn't seem like disability payments should count as regular income. Brian explained to her that he had higher expenses because of his injury and if he moved to Baltimore he would have to purchase a condo and pay to have modifications to make the condo accessible. The financial aid person said that she would talk to her supervisor and let Brian know if under these special circumstances Hopkins could give him financial aid. It doesn't look promising.

    This week Brian is meeting with John Gutierrez - Coordinator of the Client Assistance Program and with the counselor at AZ Vocational Rehab.

    Roger

  5. #335
    Roger,

    John' s a good guy and if anyone can figure out how to make things work from a VR standpoint, it's him. I really like Linda too but she's in southern AZ.

    Best of luck to you guys.
    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

    Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

    "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

    Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

  6. #336
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    Brian talked to John Gutierrez today. The situation is that AZ Voc rehab is not taking on any new clients. At the beginning of February they ran out of money. Three weeks later they received $6 million and are using this to support exiting clients. New clients are being put on a waiting list. Brian would be a new client.

    When Brian talked to John Gutierrez last week he thought that Brian was an existing client and that's why he told Brian that the funding had been restored. Brian has a meeting tomorrow with the counselor at AZ Voc Rehab tomorrow. John Gutierrez told Brian that AZ Voc Rehab is hoping to receive additional funding in September.

    Voc Rehab has some very strict rules. They will not pay for part of any expense, they pay for all of it or nothing. If we pay Hopkins even a deposit then Voc Rehab said they would not pay for any of the Hopkins expenses.


    Roger

  7. #337
    While it is very discouraging now, there may be a way around it. Can Brian's disability be paid into a protected trust?
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  8. #338
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    Brian has been working on some letters for Hopkins. The day before we went to Baltimore for the Hopkins revisit weekend the director of admissions scheduled a meeting with Brian. The meeting was about the Hopkins Technical Standards. He explained that Brian's acceptance into the Johns Hopkins medical school was contingent on him providing documentation that he can perform the required physical requirements, with reasonable accommodations, as specified in the Technical Standards. The director of admissions apologized for springing this on Brian at this late date.
    The Hopkins director of admissions told Brian that they didn't want to exclude him but they felt that it was important that they have documentation showing that their decision to accept Brian was based on information provided to them. The expession that explains this is CYA.

    Brian has been busy putting together the required documentation. He has a very clear and positive letter from the surgeon at Stanford who did the tendon transfer surgery. The letter says that Brian could complete the required technical standards prior to the tendon transfer surgery and he will be more capable after he completes the rehab from the tendon transfer surgery. Brian also has a letter from his physiologist here in Phoenix. This letter also states that Brian can complete all of the required technical standards. These letters have been sent to Hopkins along with a letter that Brian wrote. I'm very optimistic that these letters will resolve this issue.

    For obvious reasons we won't made an offer on the Baltimore Condo until this issue is resolved.

    Roger
    Last edited by Roger; 05-02-2009 at 12:02 PM.

  9. #339
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    Roger, the amount of hoops that you and Brian are having to jump through is discouraging, but if anyone can pull it off I know the two of you can. A disability trust does seem like a good idea to shelter his payments. Tell Brian not to be too discouraged as he thinks about accessibility in Baltimore because things are not always what they seem on first glance. I don't know Baltimore, so I have no insider knowledge, but I can tell you that Boston, where I live, looks like an accessibilty nightmare, and while it IS behind the rest of the country there are often back door entrances or ramps hidden around corners. Not ideal, but there. I went to BU and if you looked at the school from the street no one would ever think it possible for a quad to go there because of all the steps, the brownstones, and the somewhat annoying excuses about historical significance. Despite that only once did they have to change a class location because of access, and nearly all the buildings are accessible from the rear, which is where the parking is anyway. Good luck.

  10. #340
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    Brian has been checking into the suggestion Cheesecake made concerning having Brian's disability payments made to a protected trust or disability trust. The idea being that the disability payments would not count as income to Brian and he would be able to qualify for financial add from Hopkins. From what Brian has been able to determine so far it's not possible to have his disability payments made to a trust.

    Today Brian wrote a letter to the Hopkins financial aid person and explained that he has more expenses that a typical student. He provided a long list of expenses that he will incur that a typical student would not incur: cost of an accessible vehicle, higher auto insurance, medications, special adaptive equipment and additional cost for accessible housing. Hopefully Hopkins will take these added costs into consideration.

    Roger
    Last edited by Roger; 05-02-2009 at 12:03 PM.

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