- Estate Planning
- Elder Law
- Special Needs Trusts
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• Set Aside Funds for Means-Tested Benefits •
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The family of an individual with a disability who is receiving means-tested benefits can set aside funds for the benefit of such individual in a Special Needs Trust. Such funds will not be counted as a resource available to such individual for the purposes of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid qualification. Typically families will set up a Special Needs Trust that will be funded by testamentary bequests or by life insurance policies on the lives of the parents.
The individual’s basic needs will be met by the government programs, such as Social Security and Medicaid Waiver programs, and all life-enriching, life-enhancing goods and activities will be provided by the Special Needs Trust. For example, if an individual with a disability is receiving Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, they will have their rent, utilities, and food paid for out of Social Security. The Special Needs Trust can then pay for clothing, cable TV service, videos, telephone service, summer camp, tuition to take a course of interest, the cost of visiting out-of-town family, etc.
Third Party Special Needs Trusts can also be used as a receptacle for gifts given to the individual by friends or other relatives. The Attorneys at Hayes & Wilson can assist you in establishing the Trust for an individual with a disability in anticipation of gifts in the future. This allows grandparents who may want to leave a gift to their grandchild with a disability an opportunity to give to that grandchild without them becoming disqualified for benefits.
Contact us. We would be happy to assist you in creating a Special Needs Trust to ensure that your loved one with a disability remains eligible for benefits.