A special needs trust or SNT is a trust specially designed for people with disabilities to enhance their quality of life while simultaneously allowing them to remain eligible for various public benefits.
Essentials like medical care, shelter, food, and clothing are provided under various government programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SNTs are used as an extra incentive over the basic support that is provided and are used to provide for luxuries that the traditional assistance does not cover.
This makes Special Needs Trust such a valuable tool as it can pay for supplemental items that improve the Trust beneficiary’s quality of life like a home and a vehicle.
The trust can be used to pay for things beyond the necessities of life including education, recreation, counseling, and medical attention. Following is a list of what you pay for using the funds in your special needs trust:
- Medical and dental claims, which aren’t covered by anything else.
- Special Vehicles like special wheelchairs and equipped vans.
- Therapy and/or rehabilitation services.
- Payment for a companion.
- Legal or guardianship expenses.
- Burial claims.
- Recreational activities and entertainment.
- Travel with a companion.
- Electrical appliances and equipment.
- A car
- A ridesharing membership
- A bus and/or rail pass
- A home
- A vacation
Special Needs Trusts are a great way to help your family members meet their needs. They must always comply with the specific rules of the beneficiary’s public benefits program, but they can be made more flexible in some cases for people who have disabilities or other special circumstances.
For example, cash may not count as income when someone is receiving SSI benefits and has an unlimited trust that does not require them to spend it on anything except disability-related items instead of using it as normal money.
For a Special Needs Trust to qualify for public benefits, the income generated by it cannot be counted. To make sure that doesn’t happen and still have your loved one’s needs taken care of by their trust, just set up an automatic bill pay service where you can give them money from the account as well, making their lives easier with the help of Special Need Trusts.
To know more about special needs trusts and the benefits of investing with trusts, visit us at www.njddc.org.