Special Needs Trusts in Pennsylvania
Individuals with disabilities have special needs, not only physical but also financial and legal. The use of special needs trusts can be critically important in helping ensure that such individuals will have the financial resources (now and in the future) to meet their special needs without losing eligibility for public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.
SSI and Medicaid laws and regulations are complex and constantly changing. Without the help of an attorney knowledgeable about public benefits law, individuals with disabilities may see money received (for example, from an inheritance) disqualify them from receipt of public benefits, quickly disappear, and not then be available to supplement their needs.
With a special needs trust, Pennsylvania residents can maintain eligibility for public benefits to cover their basic needs of food, shelter, and medical care, while funds in the trust can be used to provide for their “special” or supplemental needs not covered by government benefits. For example, the trust could be used to pay for such things as education, travel expenses, repairs and upkeep on a residence, a wheelchair-accessible van, dental and other medical care not covered by health insurance– things which taken together could make a significant difference in the individual’s quality of life.
In Pennsylvania, special needs trusts are valuable for individuals who want to make provision for a disabled child or grandchild in their estate plan to help assure that he or she can attain the highest possible quality of life.
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Related Special Needs Posts
- ABLE Act accounts will help the disabled- Some disabled individuals may now obtain tax-advantaged accounts, similar to 529 college savings accounts, to pay for expenses related to disability. These accounts result from the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act passed by Congress in 2014. Allowable amounts held in these accounts will not interfere with Medicaid or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) eligibility. […]
- Pennsylvania authorizes ABLE Act accounts for the disabled- Many disabled individuals in the U.S. receive public benefits from programs that place restrictions on the dollar amount (typically $2,000) of assets a recipient can own. Medicaid and SSI are two examples. Federal and state law allow the establishment of certain trusts, such as special needs trusts and pooled trusts, to benefit the disabled without […]
- Support the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act- A special needs trust holds assets (usually funds) for the benefit of a disabled person without affecting any public benefits the person may receive, such as SSI or Medicaid. Those assets can then be used for the disabled person’s benefit. Current law allows a disabled person to create a special needs trust, with his or […]