Does your client need a special needs trust?
To answer this question, first there are some answers you will need to have from your client.
The first question is whether they are disabled under the Social Security definition of disability. If the answer to that question is yes, then the next question is whether the client is receiving any type of needs based benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. If the answer is yes, then a pooled special needs trust may be appropriate to protect eligibility for those needs based benefits. Below is an overview of the Settlement Solutions National Pooled Trust and more information on public benefits as well as how they are protected through the use of a special needs trust.
About the (d)(4)(c) Pooled Trust
The Settlement Solutions National Pooled Trust was created to help people who have suffered an injury and are now disabled qualify for and/or maintain Medicaid/SSI benefits. Our mission is to treat every trust beneficiary with the dignity and respect they deserve. We are here to serve our beneficiaries and look forward to working with you, your family, your attorney and other professional advisors.
OBRA ’93 (a federal law) allows a charity to establish and manage a unique type of special needs trust called a Pooled Trust. Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provide a basic level of support for food, shelter, and medical care. A Pooled Trust bridges the gap between basic support services provided by Medicaid/SSI and the needs of a trust beneficiary by providing for things government assistance does not pay for.
In a Pooled Trust, the income and assets of an individual with a disability are managed by a not-for-profit association. The SSI definition of disability is used to qualify for creation of the pooled trust sub-accounts for those who are injured. Separate sub-accounts are maintained for each beneficiary. Upon the death of a beneficiary, the funds remaining in that beneficiary’s account are retained by the trust if the Pooled Trust agreement so provides or can be distributed.
The major benefit of a Pooled Trust is that since the Pooled Trust already exists, a new trust does not have to be created each time a beneficiary wants to join. The Pooled Trust requires only a “joinder agreement” for new beneficiaries.
- The Beneficiary must meet the Social Security definition of disabled. The Social Security definition is as follows: Disability under Social Security is based on your inability to work. We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if you cannot do work that you did before and we decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s). Your disability must also last or be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
- The Joinder Agreement must be signed by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian of the Beneficiary, the Court, or by the individual Beneficiary.
- The assets used to fund the Sub-Account must be the Beneficiary’s.
- The Beneficiary’s Sub-Account must be established for the sole benefit of the Beneficiary.
- SSNPT’s fees are by far one of the lowest in the country.
- One-time fee at inception of $500.00
- Annual fee of one percent (1.5%) of the assets held in trust (includes asset management fees)*
*Calculated as a percentage of the assets held in the trust and charged quarterly. For example, if the balance in the trust at the beginning of the quarter is $100,000, then the fee for the quarter would be $375.00 (($100,000 X 1.5%)/4). It would be taken out each quarter in $375.00 increments.