Planning for receipt of large sums of money also raises serious questions concerning eligibility for government benefits which are dependent upon financial circumstances. Programs such as Medicaid have income restrictions placed upon individuals. If funds are received without considering Medicaid implications, a claimant runs the risk of become disqualified from Medicaid and thus losing these important and valuable benefits.
WHAT IS A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST?
A Supplemental Needs Trust (SNT) sometimes known as a Special Needs Trust is a trust that is designed to supplement Medicaid benefits instead of eliminating or replacing these benefits. The trust is set up to provide for a claimant’s needs that are not provided for by Medicaid and to supplement those needs that Medicaid does provide for.
WHAT YOU MUST KNOW:
At the time that the trust is set up, if Medicaid has spent any money for the benefit of the claimant, they first must be reimbursed before the money can go into the trust.
At the time that the claimant dies, before any money that remains in the trust can be distributed to beneficiaries, Medicaid must be paid back for the amounts they spent during the lifetime of the trust.
A trust can only be created for a disabled person under the age of 65.
WHAT CAN THE SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST PROVIDE FOR?
Medical costs of needs not covered by Medicaid
Expenses for home care attendants not covered by Medicaid
Rehabilitation expenses not covered by Medicaid
Special living facilities not covered by Medicaid
Transportation expenses such as cars and special vans
Educational equipment such as computers and other learning devices
Recreational expenses such as vacations or other travel expenses that will enhance the quality of life for claimants.
The additional costs of private accommodations in shared housing units.