The Achieving Independence System"> The Achieving Independence System

The Achieving Independence System

 Special Needs Trust 4 Step System


The Achieving Independence System is a process developed by the Dale Law Firm, PC to educate our clients on the issues and decisions that they must deal with in providing for their loved ones with disabilities, where reliable asset management and public benefits are essential.  Explore our materials and videos to learn more.

Would you like to own your own copy of the Achieving Independence Book? This resource is invaluable in helping you to understand the process of creating a Special Needs Trust, as well as helping you to define the individual needs that your Special Needs Trust must serve.

The Achieving Independence Approach for Special Needs Estate Planning Book, authored by Stephen W. Dale, Esq., LL.M, is now available in print version. It will serve as a guide for persons with disabilities and their families, providing information on how to design a plan for a person with a disability. The Achieving Independence Approach focuses on more than just preservation of public benefits, it includes advocacy and quality of life.

Final Cover Achieving Independence

    Chapters Include:

Telling My Story
The Half Kept Promise
Public Benefits
SNT Basics
Types of SNTs
The Ideal Trustee
Funding the Trust
Keeping Your SNT Up To Date

This invaluable resource can be used to help you understand the process of creating a special needs trust, as well and help you to define the exact needs of your trust, allowing Dale Law Firm, or your attorney to create a Special Needs Trust that will fit your individualized needs.

Click To Visit

Steve Dale's Independence Journal

An online magazine for the support of
individuals with disabilities, their families,
and the Professionals that serve them


When Parent's Divorce Using a Special Needs Trust for Child Support Payments to Maximize Public Benefits Eligibility Divorce for families with children is difficult in all situations, but when it involves a child with a significant disability the challenges are often greater. This article is intended to assist families and their advisors in exploring how to continue to provide for a child with a disability and maximize their eligibility for benefits. Step 1 – Figure out What Child is Receiving Now and Likely to Receive in the Future Much of this article will focus on preservation of eligibility for SSI which in most families [...]
Thu, Feb 04, 2016, Continue reading at the source
When a loved one is diagnosed with a mental illness, this can be devastating to families. How will you help them? How will you cope? What does this mean for your family? These questions and more run through your mind and you feel lost and helpless. However there is help, The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) offers a variety of programs to help support those dealing with Mental Illness. NAMI provides advocacy, research, support and education about serious mental illness. Its members include public officials, politicians, members of faith communities, consumers, families and friends of people living with mental [...]
Thu, Oct 29, 2015, Continue reading at the source
By Stephen W. Dale, Esq. Elections are in the air, as hopefuls position themselves for local, state and federal office. Given the budget pressure on public benefits and services, the stakes couldn't be higher for individuals with special needs, and it's important that they make their voices heard. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has declared that member states “shall undertake to ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others…including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected.” Here in [...]
Wed, May 20, 2015, Continue reading at the source
I'm sure you have heard all the talk, seen all the social media posts asking for a 10% increase and to Keep the Promise! We've heard the system is in crisis and we are about to lose our entitlement. But what does that really mean and why are we in a crisis now? Haven't we always been in a crisis? Hasn't the Lanterman Act been historically underfunded? If there is a budget surplus, doesn't that mean that there won't be any more cuts and we can sustain? This is a crisis that has [...]
Tue, May 19, 2015, Continue reading at the source
Monday, March 3rd, 2014 in Sacramento, California For More Information go to Or call (916) 552-6619 My wife Terri and I have a law practice focused on improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities and their families. Many of our clients create what are called special needs trusts which are trusts specifically focused on enhancing the lives of persons with disabilities by preserving qualification for essential public benefits and supplementing those needs to provide services and opportunities that the rest of us take for granted. Over the past two decades we have learned by experience the value of professional management [...]
Mon, Jan 27, 2014, Continue reading at the source
FREE Online Newsletter