H.A.L.O. Initiative Answers Families Legal Questions

This summer H.A.L.O. established the Children’s Advisory Network (CAN) to help families deal with Massachusetts’ complicated maze of regulations governing care of children with neurological impairment and complex disabilities.

Attorney Arthur Sneider, one of several volunteers, has already aided one family that was in imminent danger of losing much-needed services for their child. With just one day remaining for an appeal, Arthur wrote a letter of advocacy that made the Medical Review Team aware of important information and resulted in restored eligibility.

The goal of H.A.L.O. CAN is to assist families with limited resources to obtain legal assistance in matters affecting their child’s care, and to provide emergency legal action when necessary, according to Rebecca Dalpe, of Foster & Eldridge, LLP.

Rebecca and Arthur, an attorney at Mulvey & Sneider, P.C. of Chestnut Hill, MA, are part of a group that will respond to legal questions as needed.

Disability law and advocacy is very specialized. The H.A.L.O. CAN team received an extensive orientation and resource materials from partners at the law firm of Clark, Hunt, Ahern & Embry, which represents many New England facilities that care for children with neurological impairment. CHA&E also supplied a list of law firms that can help when legal needs might exceed H.A.L.O. CAN volunteer capabilities.

It is very important that families understand that parents are not automatically considered to be the guardian of their severely disabled child once they have reached adulthood, said Joshua Krell, CHA&E partner. A legal guardian must be formally designated before reaching the age of majority in order to avoid interruption of necessary benefits and services such as medications, he said.

Families can contact H.A.L.O. CAN through the administrator of their child’s pediatric facility or by clicking HERE. Legal advice is currently offered only in Massachusetts.