Sunflower Hill to host 'Special Needs' planning symposium Jan. 31

Forum will talk about benefits for those with disabilities

Sunflower Hill, a Pleasanton based nonprofit organization for families and individuals with special needs, has scheduled its second annual financial planning symposium from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m Saturday Jan. 31 at Las Positas College.

The symposium will address the role of public benefits and how they can be maximized for individuals with special needs/disabilities.

Topics will include the difference between Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Issues in dealing with Medi-Cal, Medicare, In Home Support Services (IHSS), special needs trusts, the Affordable Health Care Act and conservatorship issues will round out the agenda.

Speakers will also address the new ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act. ABLE allows for tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities.

Headlining the event will be Kevin Urbatsch, national director of the Academy of Special Needs Planners. His legal practice is devoted to the unique needs of individuals with disabilities.

He will be joined by Jim Huyck, former executive director of Alta Regional Center and a public benefits consultant, and Jon Elfin, a financial planner with Sagemark Consulting.

Cost for the half-day symposium is $75 per person or $120 per couple.

Regional Center of the East Bay clients are urged to contact their case manager as the conference may qualify as a reimbursable expense.

To register, visit the Sunflower Hill website at

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