May 3, 2017

Sad Situation In Charlotte

     From a television station in Charlotte:
An east Charlotte mother doesn’t know how she’s going to care for her permanently disabled son, after the benefits that were helping to keep him alive were discontinued at the start of the month.
Lakescia Gamble reached out to FOX 46 Charlotte to tell the heartbreaking story of her 17-year-old son Jai’Quan, who was involved in a horrible accident when he was younger, and would later fall victim to his own attorney. ...
Jai’Quan’s story begins in 2005, when he was 5-years-old. He was hit by a speeding truck while playing in the front yard of his grandma’s house. ...
As if that wasn’t already enough, Gamble would later find out that the attorney she hired to facilitate a settlement with the driver’s insurance company, John L. Schurlknight of Florence, S.C., had stolen Jai’Quan’s settlement money. ...
According to the FBI, Rivers and Schurlknight failed to tell their clients when their cases had been settled, and failed to pay the client’s medical providers, instead forging client’s signatures on releases and keeping all the money received in the client’s settlements.
Schurlknight would later commit suicide at his law office the day investigators were set to meet with him. ...
Gamble said a judge ordered $15,000 to go to Jai’Quan in the form of a trust that he can’t touch until he turns 18.
She told FOX 46 Charlotte that Jai’Quan’s medical costs exceed $30,000 a year, which is why he has been receiving monthly Supplemental Security Income, or SSI benefits, to help with the costs, but now there’s a problem. ...
“Social Security is now saying he’s unable to get any benefits, not even Medicaid,” Gamble said.
Last month, Gamble received a letter from the Social Security Administration informing her that Jai’Quan’s SSI benefits would be slashed from $735 per month to zero beginning in May 2017, because Jai’Quan “has countable resources worth more than $2,000.” ...
On top of that, the Social Security Administration sent Gamble another letter informing her that she needs to pay back $6,900 within weeks due to overpayments. Days after our interview, Gamble told FOX 46 the SSA increased the amount she owes to $12,000, which she says, she can’t afford to pay. ...
     If the money in the trust can't be touched until the child turns 18, this is a mistake because the funds would not be available to the child.
     You can't tell from this article if all the funds stolen from the child have been recovered. The North Carolina State Bar has a Client Security Fund that protects clients whose money has been stolen by their attorney. I and other NC attorneys pay into the fund. I can't find any reference online to a similar fund in South Carolina where this attorney was located. If there isn't one, SC attorneys need to get their act together.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is another article and example of where too little detail just leads to bland generalizations about the program and who it hurts. There are so many detail that are required to determine if anything is wrong. Maybe the received 15k in the form of a check and haven't provided any proof to where the money went, maybe it's actually in a trust, maybe the trust isn't set up correctly to be excludable. It's anyone's guess.

Anonymous said...

As with many articles published in newspapers, there appears to be too many details left out to make conclusions on this case.

Anonymous said...

No mention of the obvious question: why should such funds be excluded resources in the first place allowing needs based assistance benefits for those who have some means, other than the taxpayers, to provide some of their own support? States are passing laws to exclude resources to allow wealthier people's children to get on SSI. Yes there are sad and compelling stories out there but someone with a 100K trust fund gets the same benefits as a those living in poverty even with SSI. Not right and it lessens support and credibility in the process.

Anonymous said...

ya'll missing the point. This is a special needs kid, he needs the money now, not at age 18. That was the whole point of suing the insurance company.

Now that its in a trust, he cannot quality for ssi or Medicaid because he is over the 2k asset limit. Judge should have ordered the appropriate trust type for this situation.

I googled more details about the scumbag attorney. He kept the clients out of the loop about their settlements. He kept making excuses on why the case wasn't settled yet. All the while, he would forge their signatures, to live a lavish lifestyle off their settlements.

http://wpde.com/news/local/late-attorneys-family-sued-by-his-former-clients-over-alleged-ponzi-scheme

Margaret Kibbee said...

A special needs trust is suppose to take care of this. A copy of the trust agreement needs to be provided to SSA. In the meantime, petition the court for what is essential to provide for the child now. It's a problem, but it can be handled. The parents do need competent legal advice.

Anonymous said...

Is it ethical for a DDS employee to advise a parent of a disabled child who is now 18 to contact an attorney or a website to show them how to shield such income so it does not count against them. I have seen too many cases where wealthy people get the full SSI for their children while relatively low income...but maybe with more income than would have allowed them to get SSI when the their children were under 18.. Have drastically reduced amounts because they tell the DO that they provide free lodging to their child...or they have a settlement such as in this case...or someone thought it would be a good idea to do some charitable crowd funding

Anonymous said...

DDS isn't suppose to advise anyone about income shielding. Or advise period. This is why claimants need representation, free from Legal Services, a Catholic charity, or a disability representative who charges if the case is won. Explain to claimants and their families, they should acknowledge that they pay their share of the expenses from their check. Otherwise, the value of services provided will be deducted. They are not worried about receipts. DDS is not involved with that part of the process. That is on the local office.
On the other hand, large settlements, child support, significant income from a third party, all a different matter. Shielding can be fraud. A 1099 to an SSI disability claimant establishes other income. Settlements can go into a special needs trust, but the other income will reduce SSI.
The biggest problem is when disability claimants think they can report self-employment income to get an earned income credit check. Doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

And they try that self employment scam to get the refund constantly.