Legal and Financial Assistance Resources for Autism Caregivers

Legal and Financial Assistance Resources for Autism Caregivers

Advocacy & Guardianship Attorneys

Access Living

115 West Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 640-2100  

Access Living offers services and support for people with disabilities in Chicago including home and community based services (personal support workers, support group, independent living skills classes, etc.), housing services, youth programs and legal services. 


Addis Greenberg & Schultz, LLC 

Lynda Schultz, GD
633 Skokie Blvd., Suite 220
Northbrook, IL 60062
(847) 412-1863
Cook County

They strive to ensure that school districts provide children with disabilities (from 2 years old to college age students) the specialized needs to which they are legally entitled. For more information about special education law.

Cost: $350 (hourly rate).
No wait list.


Ancel Reiter LLC

Special Education Law
Child & Family Advocacy
Jennifer Ancel Reiter
email: jennifer@ReiterSpecEdLaw.com

Marc J. Ancel
email: Marc.Ancel.Atty@gmail.com

Illinois: (847) 707-3460
Indiana: (317) 709-4295

We provide special education legal representation and child & family advocacy services to families in the greater Chicago area and the greater Indianapolis area.  We pride ourselves in the depth of our knowledge, ability, and the personal care we provide to our clients.

Call to schedule a free initial consultation.


Center for Disability and Elder Law 

Michael Roth, Executive Director
79 W. Monroe St., Suite 919
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 376-1885
Cook County
email: mroth@probonocdel.org

CDEL provides free legal services to qualified eligible low-income persons with disabilities and special needs.

Cost: no fee.
No wait list.


The Child and Family Law Center

Mary "Micki" Moran
1950 Sheridan Road, Suite 106
Highland Park, IL 60035
(847) 926-0101
Lake County
email: mickim@lawforchild.com

Attorneys offer assistance to families regarding guardianship, educational law, custody, criminal and mental health issues.

Cost: fee varies.
No wait list.


Children's Law Group 

Deborah Pergament
Mary D. Mulay
4732 N. Talman Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 878-4951 - Erin Collin
Cook County
email: dpergament@childrenslawgroup.com

Attorneys offer assistance to families regarding school, criminal and mental health issues.

Payment plans and sliding scale fees available.
No wait list.


Equip for Equality

20 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 341-0022 or (800) 537-2632
email: contactus@equipforequality.org

Provides direct representation in negotiations, administrative hearings and federal and state court. Priority is given to systematic and high-impact cases that will benefit the larger disability community. The self-advocacy assistance program provides information and advice to individuals to enable them to advocate on their own behalf or on behalf of a family member. Referrals to other resources are also provided. Accessible formats, ASL, and services in other languages are available.

Cost: state-funded


From Advocacy to Action 

Pam Labellarte, special education advocate
231 Bingham Circle
Mundelein, IL 60060
(847) 401-5053
email: plabellarte@gmail.com

Serving Illinois counties: Lake, McHenry, Cook, DuPage & Kane

Serving Wisconsin counties: Kenosha and Walworth

Special education advocate and parent of two children with a disability. Provides the educational/transition process. Services include: education, peer counseling, 504 plan multiple disciplinary conference (MDC-3 year evaluation, manifestation determination-discipline and mediation).

Cost: call for fee schedule.
No wait list.


Hansen & Cleary, LLC

Jennifer L. Hansen
Lara A. Cleary
555 Skokie Blvd., Suite 250
Northbrook, Illinois 60062
Telephone: 847-715-2801
Cook County
E-mails: jennifer@hansencleary.com; lara@hansencleary.com

Attorneys offer assistance to families regarding special education matters, mental health law, guardianship, and criminal law representation for juveniles and adults.

Cost: No cost for initial consultation.


Julie Pautsch - VISTA Attorney

Children and Families Practice Group
120 South LaSalle Street, Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 341-1070
Cook County
email: jpautsch@lafchicago.org

Provides free legal assitance on education matters (special education, discipline, and access) to qualifying low-income families who reside in Cook County. Parents are recommended to call in early morning to schedule an in-person appointment.

No wait list.


LAF

120 S La Salle St, #900
Chicago, IL 60603
312-341-1070 (intake line)

LAF provides free legal assistance in education matters (including special education, school discipline, enrollment, residency, and discrimination) to qualifying low-income families as well as foster children who reside in Cook County. Parents, guardians, and students should call the intake line between the hours of 8:30am-5:00pm to speak with an intake specialist. Intake specialists accept a limited number of calls per day, so it is recommended that potential clients call in the morning.


Loyola Community Law Center Clinic

Philip H. Corboy Law Center
25 E. Pearson St., Suite 1005
Chicago, IL 60611
312.915.7830

The Community Law Center Clinic serves clients whose main source of income is public assistance or Supplemental Security Income as well as those classified as the "working poor," who are people struggling to meet their obligations even though they have jobs. Cases handled by the clinic focus on family issues (i.e., guardianship, custody), landlord-tenant conflicts and benefit questions. Since its founding, the clinic has represented more than 3000 individuals while providing students with the opportunity to serve real clients with real problems.


Mary Denise Cahill, Esq.

Attorney at Law
1155 S. Washington St., Suite 106
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 778-6500
DuPage County
email: mdcahill@sbcglobal.net

Focuses her practice on assisting parents of children with disabilities, specializing in school-related issues. They are highly skilled in student educational placement, Individual Educational Plan (IEP) meetings, due process, disciplinary matters and educational employment matters.

Cost: $250 (hourly rate).
No wait list.


Matt Cohen & Associates

Matt Cohen, J.D.
155 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 715
Chicago, IL 60601
Office: (866) 787-9270
Cell: (312) 961-4179
email:  mdcspedlaw@gmail.com
blog:  disablethelabels.blogspot.com
also: www.ldonline.org
Cook County

Law firm with a focus on legal problems of children and adults with disabilities and their families, including special education disputes, and legal services to mental health and human service providers.

Cost for intake: $250 per hour. Payment plans for retainer and ongoing fee available.


Robert H. Farley, Jr., Ltd.

Attorney at Law
1155 S. Washington St.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 369-0103
DuPage County
email: farleylaw@aol.com

Assists families with children and adults with disabilities. A short video at www.farley1.com will inform families how to obtain funding and services for developmentally disabled persons in the state of Illinois and why proper estate planning through the use of special needs trusts is essential to maximize government benefits. Available to speak to parents, groups and agencies at no charge. Workshops are offered free of charge - see web site for upcoming dates.

Cost: fee quotes available upon request.
No wait list.


Special Ed Advocacy Center

Jill M. Dressner
1935 S. Plum Grove Road
PMB #274
Palatine, IL 60067
(847) 736-8286
Cook County
email: jmdressner@aol.com

Provides free legal representation to low-income parents and caregivers of children with disabilities seeking to obtain appropriate educational and early intervention services for their child.  SEAC seeks to educate parents, caregivers and school personnel concerning their rights and responsibilities under current special education law. Download brochure.

No wait list.


Whitted, Takiff & Hansen, LLC

Neal E. Takiff
Jennifer L. Hansen
Shermin Ali-Andani
3000 Dundee Road, Suite 303
Northbrook, IL 60062
(847) 564-8662
Cook County
emails:  ntakiff@wthlawfirm.com (Neal); jhansen@wthlawfirm.com (Jennifer); sali@wthlawfirm.com (Shermin)

Attorneys offer assistance to families regarding special education and mental health issues.

Cost: no fee for initial consultation.
No wait list.

Estate Planning and Financial Advisors

Addis Greenberg & Schultz, LLC 

Lynda Schultz, GD
633 Skokie Blvd., Suite 220
Northbrook, IL 60062
(847) 412-1863
Cook County

Estate planning, disability special needs trusts and guardianships.

Cost: $350 (hourly rate).
No wait list.


American Income Life 

Chris Ponn, insurance agent
900 S. Frontage Road, Suite 105
Woodridge, IL 60517
(630) 202-7309
DuPage County

Ponn is a special needs advocate and will provide a free at-home consultation along with a child-safe kit.
Fee for services; some services provided at no cost.

No wait list.


Brooks, Adams and Tarulis

Richard J. Tarulis
101 N. Washington St.
Naperville, IL 60540-4511
(630) 355-2101
DuPage County

Business hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $1,000 to $1,500 for estate planning, living needs trusts, and wills.
Cost: $900 for uncontested guardianship.
No wait list.


Dennis J. McNicholas, Ltd.

425 South Main St., Suite 100
Lombard, IL 60148
(630) 629-0290
DuPage County

Estate planning and guardianships.

Business hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: free 30-minute consultation. Fee quotes available upon request.
No wait list.


The Elder Law Office of Steven C. Perlis and Associates PC 

Steven C. Perlis
Helen Mesoloras
3345 N. Arlington Heights Road, Suite D
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
(847) 818-1138
Cook County

Business hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Special needs trusts, guardianships, estate planning

Cost: fee quotes available upon request.
No wait list.


The Estate Planning Law Group 

Kirsten L. Izatt
600 W. Roosevelt Road, Suite A1
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 871-8778
DuPage County
email: info@teplg.com
More information: www.specialneedsfreeguide.com

Business hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Special needs trusts, estate planning, guardianships.

Izatt is available to present to parent support groups. Parents will learn "10 Important Steps Parents Must Take To Protect Their Child's Future."

Cost: fee quotes available upon request.
No wait list.


Family Bridges 

Joy Faith Knapp Children's Center
3145 W. Pratt Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60645
Cook County
855-ASK-JCFS (855-275-5237)
FamilyBridges@jcfs.org

Whether you need assistance with day-to-day activities, hands-on case management, access to resources, home-based care or professional consultation to complete your plans for the future, we’re here to help. Family Bridges arranges and coordinates a variety of services and supports to improve the quality of life for you and your loved one with a developmental, intellectual or physical disability and/or chronic mental illness. Services include private case management and futures planning. JCFS also is a Service Facilitation Agency for children and adults with developmental disabilities who have been approved for Home and Community Based Waiver funding.


The Firm of Per K. Hanson Associated P.C.

Per K. Hanson, ext. 26
Lisa Trevor
2222 Chestnut Ave., #201
Glenview, IL 60025-1608
(847) 486-9960
Cook County


Business hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cost: $500 to $1,500 for special needs trusts and estate planning.
Cost: $200 for guardianships (hourly rate).
No wait list.


Law Elder Law

Rick L. Law
2275 Church Rd.
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 585-5200
Kane County

Business hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Estate planning, disability and Medicaid.

Cost: free one-hour consultation. Fee quotes available upon appointment only.
No wait list.


Law Firm of Kuczek & Associates

Theodore D. Kuczek, III, attorney
Main Office:  1510 Old Deerfield Rd., Suite 230, Highland Park, IL 60035
Phone:  847-940-7780
Email:  trustattorneys@kuczek.com

Area of practice: Illinois residents; estate planning, wills and trusts with special needs planning


The Law Offices of Brian Rubin and Associates

Brian Rubin
1110 W. Lake Cook Road, Suite 165
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-1997
(847) 279-7999
Lake County
email: Brian@snfp.net

Business hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Special needs trusts, estate planning, wills and trusts

Cost: fee quotes available upon request.
No wait list.


The Law Office of Cynthia Hayes Hutchins

Cynthia H. Hutchins
620 W. Roosevelt Road, Suite C1
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 510-0600
DuPage County
For more information: www.dupageelderlaw.com

Business hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Special needs trusts, guardianships, estate planning

Cost: fee quotes available upon request.
No wait list.


Lesser, Lutrey and McGlynn, LLP Law

Edmund R. McGlynn, Jr.
191 E. Deerpath Rd., Suite 300
Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 295-8800
Lake County

Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $2,500 to $3,000 for estate planning and special needs trusts.
Cost: $3,000 and up for guardianships.
No wait list.


L. Mark Russell, JD 

86 W. King Henry Court
Palatine, IL 60067
(847) 991-7451
Cook County
email: lmarkrussell@comcast.net

Drafts documents such as wills, trusts, powers of attorneys for health care and property, special needs trusts, revocable trusts for parents (to avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, and manage assets during incapacity), HIPAA releases, and living wills. Advises parents on issues such as guardianship and government benefits at parent groups or conferences. For parents who have a high-functioning child with Asperger syndrome, there is a dilemma in how parent(s) leave an inheritance to their child. Whether or not they should use a special needs trust - Mr. Russell discusses these options.

Cost: $2,400-$2,800 for an entire estate plan for parents.
one- to four-week wait list.
Available to meet with clients in the late afternoon or early evening in Palatine, Mt. Prospect, or in the client's homes.


Mary Denise Cahill, Esq.

Attorney at Law
1155 S. Washington St., Suite 106
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 778-6500
DuPage County
E-mail: mdcahill@sbcglobal.net

Focuses her practice on assisting parents of children with special needs, specifically on issues of guardianship, special needs trusts, and wills for family members.

Cost: $250 (hourly rate).
No wait list.


Michael Overmann, Ltd.

Michael Overmann
7702 S. Cass Ave., Suite 135
Darien, IL 60561
(630) 810-0316
DuPage County

Business hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (evening and weekend appointments available)
Cost: $1,200 to $1,800 for estate planning and special needs trusts.
Cost: fee quotes available upon request for guardianships.
No wait list.


Mulherin, Rehfeldt and Varchetto, PC 

John Mulherin
211 S. Wheaton Ave., Suite 200
Wheaton, IL 60187-5259
(630) 384-3133
DuPage County
email: jmulherin@mrvlaw.com

Business hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Cost: $950 to $1,500 for estate planning, guardianships and special needs trusts.
Cost: $275 (hourly rate).
No wait list.


Neiburger Law 

Ben A. Neiburger, Esq., CPA
747 N. Church Road, Suite B4B
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 782-1766
DuPage County

Business hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $2,000 to $8,000 for estate planning, special needs trusts, powers of attorney.
Cost: $700 to $15,000 for Medicaid.
Cost: $5,000 to $40,000 for guardianships.
No wait list.


Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

Robert F. Obernesser
1225 Corporate Blvd., Suite 100
Aurora, IL 60505
(630) 631-5486
Kane County
email: robert.obernesser@nmfn.com

Representative will identify needs and goals while providing solutions on how to provide for the future of their special needs child.

Free consultation.
Products and services priced per individual’s needs ($950 to $1,500).
Accommodates hardship cases.
No wait list.


Robert H. Farley, Jr., Ltd.

Attorney at Law
1155 S. Washington St.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 369-0103
DuPage County
email: farleylaw@aol.com

Assists families with children and adults with disabilities. A short video atwww.farley1.com will inform families how to obtain funding and services for developmentally disabled persons in the state of Illinois and why proper estate planning through the use of special needs trusts is essential to maximize government benefits. Available to speak to parents, groups and agencies at no charge. Workshops are offered free of charge — see website for upcoming dates.

Cost: fee quotes available upon request.
No wait list.


Spain, Spain and Varnet, PC

Nancy Spain
Richard Spain
Theresa Varnet
33 N. Dearborn St., Suite 2220
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 220-9112
Cook County

Business hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Special needs trusts, estate planning, guardianships, government benefits and advocacy issues

Cost: fee quotes available upon request.
No wait list.


Strohschein Law Group

Linda Strohschein, ext. 100
Rachel Rupp, ext.106
Eleonora “Lee” Holmes, ext.101
40W310 LaFox Road, Suite K-2
St. Charles, IL 60175
(630) 377-3241
Kane County

Business hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $1,500 to $3,500 for special needs trusts and estate planning.
Cost: $2,500 for guardianships.
No wait list.


Waddell & Reed

Ed Scheer MBA, CFP®
1111 W. 22nd St., Suite 100
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(630) 954-4611

Serving: Cook, DuPage, Kane, & Kendall Counties

Ed is a financial advisor and a father of a son with special needs.  He understands the unique challenges and opportunities families’ with special needs face when setting their financial goals and priorities.  He works in a holistic manner to provide your family with the tools and knowledge for your long-term future.

Cost: free consultation. Financial planning and investment advisory services provided on a fee basis. Please call for details.