The Special Needs Trust: Saving Money For Supplemental Care

10 September 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog


When you have money, it's important to protect that money for your future needs. Whether you find yourself in need of nursing home care at the moment, or you want to protect financial assets for a disabled heir, a special needs trust can be set up that can pay for supplemental care, supplies and comfort items. 

When You Have a Disabled Heir

If one of your heirs is disabled, they are likely on federal benefits to help pay for their daily living needs and healthcare. Some of the qualifications for receiving these benefits are income based, and a person receiving Medicaid or Social Security Disability benefits is not allowed to have more than a few thousand dollars in the bank. Receiving a lump sum in an inheritance will put a stop to these benefits and will cause problems for the individual. A special needs trust is not considered an asset when applying for Medicaid or Social Security Disability, and therefore does not interfere with a disabled heir's benefits.

If You Need Long Term Nursing Home Care

One of the main reasons people create a special needs trust is when they are admitted to a nursing home for long term care unexpectedly. While Medicare will cover 90 days of a rehabilitative stay in a nursing home, when this care turns to custodial care the benefits change. Nursing home costs range dramatically, costing patients thousands of dollars every month to receive care. When you have money in the bank, you can't qualify for Medicaid. This insurance will cover your nursing home stay if you need custodial, or long term care, but you can't apply until your assets have dwindled down to the accepted range of a few thousand dollars.

You can place your money in a special needs trust in order to qualify for Medicaid. Even though Medicaid has a look back period, creating the trust is an effective way of putting your money aside so that it all doesn't go to nursing home care costs. Once the trust is funded, you will no longer have significant assets in your name and you can apply for Medicaid. 

The money within the trust can be used for supplemental care, comfort items, clothing and more. This is an excellent way to ensure that you get all of your needs met should you need to live in a nursing home.

If you find yourself facing nursing home care and you have assets you aren't sure what to do with, contact an attorney like Wright Law Offices, PLLC that can help you create a special needs trust.