Kirkland Elder Law& Associates

707 Whitlock Avenue
SW Building E, Suite 16
Marietta, GA 30064

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(770) 892-6886

Kirkland Elder Law& Associates

 

The need to protect the disabled who have suffered debilitating injuries that radically change their lives and their families’ lives is very important. Those who find themselves in a catastrophic accident and who suffer physically, mentally, and financially must be protected as permitted under the law. Special trusts, known as Special Needs Trusts may be and should be used as the legal vehicle whereby the disabled and those who are otherwise impaired may continue to receive benefits provided through the State and Federal governments and retain supplemental assistance from funds generated from injury settlements, inheritance and gifts. This can be done by getting help from a Special Need Trust attorney in Marietta, GA.

Special Need Trusts (SNT) are absolutely necessary for disabled individuals who need public assistance or will soon be dependent upon public assistance. “Insurance based” programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare benefits provide for the aged, blind and disabled. “Needs based” programs available for the aged, blind or disabled are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.

Government benefits provided through various programs such as SSDI and SSI are designed to pay for the basic needs of the disabled who have limited financial resources. Basic needs are food; shelter and medical care and have little or no effect on the “quality of life” benefits. Government programs are not designed to provide for quality of life benefits such as transportation, recreation, entertainment, special therapies or special equipment or items that may provide comfort. An experienced Marietta, GA special need Trust attorney understands how each of these programs work. Our Special Need Trust attorney in Marietta has been helping individuals with disabilities get the compensation and assistance they deserve.

Gifts, Inheritance and Lawsuit Settlements:

What happens when an individual who is disabled receives an unexpected inheritance? What happens when an individual suffers a catastrophic injury and receives a large settlement? What happens when a disabled individual receives an unexpected gift? All these questions can be answered by a Marietta special need Trust attorney.

The income and resource summaries are set forth below. Receipt of injury settlements, gifts and inheritances may result in the individual governmental benefits provided through Medicaid, SSI and other welfare programs to be discontinued until the funds received are spent on the care of the recipient. This unpleasant result may be avoided by implementation of an appropriate Special Needs Trust. You can also seek legal assistance from a Special Need Trust attorney in Marietta, GA. Assets of the disabled that are contained in and SNT will not be counted as a resource and will allow the government benefits to continue or be established.

SUMMARY OF SSI and MEDICAID**
SSI/Welfare (Federal)Resources/Exempt
$674.00 minimum level of incomeHouse/residence
$2,000.00 maximum countable resourcesone vehicle
$3,000.00 for married coupleburial spaces
$1,500.00 for burial expenses
Household goods
MedicaidResources/Exempt *
$2,250.00 monthly income capHouse/residence
$2,000.00 maximum countable resourcesone vehicle
$6,175.00 penalty divisor$10,000.00 burial expenses
$3090.00 monthly needs allowance$1,500.00 life insurance value
$123,600.00 Community spouse
$3,000.00 Couples maximum
Income producing property
Retirement accounts

*Summary of exceptions.

** 2018

Self Settled Trust – 42 U.S.C. 1396p (d) (4) (a) and (c)

The funds are those of the beneficiary who may have received a large award in a personal injury settlement, lottery winner, the sale of property or comes into money unexpectantly.

(d) (4) (a): Requirements:

  1. Irrevocable
  2. Must be established by a parent, grandparent, court order, legal guardian
  3.  Must be 65 years of age or younger
  4. Upon the death of the beneficiary the remaining assets must be first paid to the State government in an amount equal to benefits paid on behalf of the beneficiary and the remainder may be paid to persons selected by the beneficiary.
  5. Funds placed in the trust will not count as a resource.

(d) (4) (c): (Pooled Trust) Requirements:

  1. Irrevocable
  2. Must be established by a beneficiary, parent, grandparent, court Order, the beneficiary’s agent, or legal guardian
  3. Must be 65 years of age or younger
  4. Upon the death of the beneficiary the remaining assets must be first paid to the State government in an amount equal to benefits paid on behalf of the beneficiary and the remainder may be paid to persons selected by the beneficiary.
  5. Funds placed in the trust will not count as a resource.

Third Party Special Needs Trust:

 Requirements:

These trusts are created and funded solely with property that does not belong to the beneficiary or the beneficiary’s spouse.  Funds placed in a 3rd Party trust will not count as an available resource.

  • The beneficiary must not have any control to compel distributions;
  • Must not exercise any powers of ownership;
  • Benefits must be used to supplement and supplant support of the beneficiary;
  • Trust may have only one lifetime beneficiary;
  • Must be irrevocable;
  • Must be 65 years of age of younger;
  • May be created by the beneficiary
  • No pay back provisions.

Trustees Standard for Distributions: (General Rules)

  • Distributions Supplement and may not supplant benefits of the recipient;
  • Should never distribute cash to the beneficiary;
  • Should never distribute items that can be converted to cash;
  • In-kind distributions that do not represent food and shelter may be made;

Disclaimer: STATEMENTS MADE HEREIN ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO CONTINUING AMENDMENTS TO THE LAW, DEVELOPMENT OF NEW LAW, AND MODIFICATIONS OF THE RULES.  CONSEQUENTLY, THE LAW AND RULES PERTAINING TO SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST, MEDICAID, SSI AND SSDI AND OTHER PLANNING TECHNIQUES SHOULD BE VERIFIED BY CONSULTING WITH AN ATTORNEY WHO PRACTICES IN THE AREAS OF ELDER LAW, SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING, AND ESTATE PLANNING.

Anthony Kirkland

Request A Consultation
(770) 892-6886