A Special Needs Trust is a type of trust that, if properly drafted and administered, preserves a disabled individual’s eligibility for government assistance such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The funds in the Special Needs Trust can then be used to supplement the disabled individual’s care and quality of life.
Some examples of items that can dramatically improve the individual’s quality of life include:
- Housing costs for a private room in an institutional setting
- Medical procedures or therapies not provided through Medicaid
- Supplemental nursing care and private companion services
- Geriatric Care services
- Entertainment and travel
- Guardian and legal fees
Types of Special Needs Trusts:
- Third Party Trusts
- Disability Trusts
- Pooled Trusts
Advantages of Using a Special Needs Trust:
- Initial eligibility for government assistance can be attained because the Special Needs Trust will prevent assets from being counted in the application process; if the individual is already receiving assistance, benefits can continue with no disruption.
- Through the Trustee’s discretionary disbursements, the disabled beneficiary has access to funds that can increase the quality of life.
- The proceeds of a personal injury lawsuit can be maximized to the greatest extent possible.The disabled beneficiary can receive medical services from providers who do not accept Medicaid payments.
- The Special Needs Trust can avoid the need for a Guardianship of the property.