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March '23 News, Updates & Events

In this Issue:

President's Message

2023 Parent University Class 3: Taxes, Taxes, Oh No! March 23, 12-1

Catch up on Parent U Class 2 (But Hurry!)

ABLE Accounts Update: New Rules

What's New at Protected Tomorrows?

Upcoming Events

President's Message

Dear Clients & Friends,

They say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but here in Chicago, it’s not that straightforward. Here, we bounce from snowstorms to spring to thunderstorms...and back again!

Isn’t this rather like loving a child with special needs? There are good days. Not-so-good days. Scary days. And, thankfully, days filled with hope and joy. 

If you’re like many parents in our community, some of the scariest days are those when you contemplate your child’s future…without you. The best way to calm that fear: create a plan. We’re here to help.

So, take advantage of our Parent University webinars and other resources. Stay up-to-date on news that impacts your child’s rights and benefits--starting with issues that we highlight here. 

Yes, planning can be an emotional process. But just like the month of March, once you get through it, the world will become much warmer and brighter. Spring really is around the corner!  

Warmest regards,

Mary Anne Ehlert

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2023 Parent University Class 3: "Taxes, Taxes, Oh No!"

March 23, 12-1pm CDT

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Under the best of circumstances, taxes—income taxes, estate taxes—are complicated. For parents engaged in special needs planning, this is certainly the case. 

In our upcoming webinar, we’ll break taxes down in simple terms, including:

  • How to integrate tax planning with your financial and special needs plans
  • Which government benefits are taxable
  • How the Secure Act. 2.0 may affect your retirement account distributions
  • How to claim certain deductions, such as your child’s rent

Best of all, you’ll have the opportunity to ask our CPA guest speakers the questions you need answered!

Can’t attend, but want the info? Register anyway, and we’ll provide the link to the recorded video.  

Sidenote: We’ve recently enhanced our Zoom security. When you register, you’ll receive an email with a link to the class, plus a passcode—which you’ll be asked to enter when you log-on. (Also, to minimize disruption, we'll close the class at 12:05, so if you’re late to arrive, your option will be to watch the video later.) 

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Missed Class 2 (Special Needs Trusts)?

View It Free Until March 23!

Those who attended our February Parent University session—"Special Needs Trusts: The Who’s, the What’s and The Why’s"—report that they found it very helpful and enlightening.

We are grateful to our guest speakers for generously sharing their knowledge and time:

If you missed the session, or would like to view it again, you have an opportunity to do so for free—but you need to act fast. The video will be available with our compliments until March 23 with coupon code 2023pu2SNT.

To use the Coupon Code

  • Click on the link below to access the class in our store
  • Add the class to your cart
  • Type in code 2023pu2SNT at checkout
  • Click “Apply coupon”

Watch Here
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ABLE Accounts Updates: New Tax & Eligibility Rules


ABLE accounts are a savings vehicle just for people with disabilities. ABLE accounts allow people with special needs to save up to $100,000 without endangering their eligibility for Social Security and other benefits.

Funds in these accounts can be used to pay for qualified disability-related expenses, which include education, healthcare, housing and transportation.

In addition, ABLE accounts enjoy favorable tax treatment: earned interest is tax-free, and funds are not taxable up to a certain threshold (which is subject to change).

Tax Updates

For 2023, the IRS:

  • Increased the federal gift tax exclusion from $16,000 to $17,000 annually—so parents can save more for their children with special needs, and
  • Increased the additional amount that workers with disabilities can contribute, from $12,880 to $13,590 in the 48 contiguous states. (There are separate thresholds in Alaska and Hawaii.) 

For more information, click here.

Future Eligibility Updates

Thanks to the ABLE Age Adjustment Act, more Americans with disabilities will be able to benefit from ABLE accounts. Previously, only those who acquired a qualified disability before the age of 26 were eligible, but effective January 1, 2026, the age limit will increase to 46. It’s estimated that an additional six million people will benefit from this. For more information, click here.

And for more important tax facts, attend our upcoming Parent University session!

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What's New at Protected Tomorrows?

There's always something happening at Protected Tomorrows--stay in the loop!

Someone to Know: Meet Jeanine Geraci-Dubs

Jeanine joined Protected Tomorrows in 2021 as Special Needs Services Coordinator. She has a background in psychology, social work and mental health, plus 15 years of experience working and advocating in the disability community. She is passionate about using her knowledge and love of learning to improve the lives of others—a passion that stems from her personal experience caring for loved ones with special needs. She lives in Lake County with her husband Jason and their cat, Gus-Gus.

Mary Anne In the News: Understanding Tax Debt

One thing you hope you will never inherit—or, worse, pass on to your kids--is tax debt. Mary Anne was recently interviewed on this complex topic. Read article.

Upcoming Transition Fairs

Transitioning out of high school can be very challenging for students and their families. Transition fairs address this by connecting families with helpful resources like vocational and life skills programs, employment opportunities, transportation services and more.

We participate in these when we can and encourage parents to take advantage of them. If you’re in the Chicago area, come visit our booth at the following transition fairs:

Options Fair 2023

April 20, 6 PM - 8 PM

Mundelein High School Annex

1500 W. Hawley Street, Mundelein IL 60060 


Future Begins Today

April 25, 6 PM - 8 PM

Harper College

1200 West Algonquin Rd., Palatine IL 60067

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This Is Where We Will Be in the Weeks Ahead...


Upcoming Events, First Quarter, 2023

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March 23, 2023

2023 Parent University Class 3

Taxes, Taxes, Oh No!

12:00 PM - 1 PM EST

April 23, 2023

2023 Parent University Class 4

Government Benefits: What You Need to Know

Online Zoom Class

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT

For more information on these events and our complete 2023 calendar click here!

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