People with Special Needs
Children, young adults, family members, and older people may be entitled to public benefits from different sources as a consequence of their particular situation.
Applying for the Benefits
- Determine if you or a loved one qualify for the benefit.
- If so, you can make application.
- If not, can you position yourself, your assets or income to qualify?
- Applications should be completed with care as one improper answer could disqualify you.
Protecting the Benefits
- Once you qualify for a benefit you may have to continue to demonstrate that you are entitled to receive the benefit.
- Positioning and continued positioning of income and assets may be necessary to preserve the benefit.
- If your benefit is based on your assets and income, a direct inheritance of assets could immediately disqualify you, forcing you to spend these assets before you could become eligible again. To pass an inheritance to a person entitled to benefits without disqualifying them often requires the use of a Special Needs Trust.
Special Needs Trust
A Special Needs Trust basically acts as a holding pot for inherited assets where the assets can only be used for those needs of the beneficiary not otherwise covered by public benefits. Thus, the trust acts solely as a supplemental trust. The assets in this trust are not “owned” by the beneficiary, which allows the beneficiary to continue to be eligible for benefits.
A Special Needs Trust must be carefully drafted to properly protect the assets from various claims by the agencies that pay benefits.