What you Should Know About Disability Rights

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Join MitoAction in an informative and exciting discussion with disability advocate and attorney Valerie Powers Smith as she brings to light issues regarding health care insurance and how to maximize coverage (e.g., understanding your plan, how to get things covered with appropriate medical necessity documentation, and appeals). She will also discuss other disability care issues, such as Medicaid, SSI benefits and managing the disabled person’s assets/income for future and continued eligibility; as well as managing parental estate concerns with proper estate planning and special needs trusts.

Guest speaker and attorney Valerie Powers Smith took patients and parents on a crash course in the area of disability law. “If I could emphasize one thing to all people with mitochondrial disease, it would be the importance of proactive planning, and understanding the basics about everything from your estate plan to your insurance benefits.”

About the Speaker

With thirteen years of experience in the field of special needs and disability law, Valerie A. Powers Smith, Esq. brings to Slovak Baron & Empey, LLP the following highly specialized practice areas:  health care insurance, disability insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, special needs trusts, trust administration, estate planning & administration, guardianships, and accessing federal and state government disability-based benefits.

Over this time, Valerie has concentrated her legal work in the area of health care law and has vigorously advocated for families and people with disabilities to gain medically necessary care from private insurance companies, Medicaid, Medicare, and other health insurance providers.  She has additionally focused her practice in the areas of special needs trusts and estate planning and routinely advise families, executors, and trustees on the area of special needs law and the administration of the same.

Valerie has written extensively on a variety of disability law topics, has co-authored several publications on accessing adult services, Medicaid, and health insurance; and is a regular contributor to the Arc of New Jersey’s Healthy Times Newsletter.  She has also lectured for disability-related groups throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and D.C.  Valerie currently sits as one of the 12 members appointed by the Governor to the New Jersey Medical Assistance Advisory Council and is serving her second three-year term.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Easter Seals of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Caregivers of New Jersey; and an Advisory Board member of Family Voices New Jersey & Autism Family Services of New Jersey.  On the national level, Valerie also serves as a legal consultant for MitoAction; and is on the legal advisory board for the Turner Syndrome Foundation, Inc.

Valerie can be contacted via email at  powers@sbelawyers.com.

Date: 02/01/2008
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