A Special Needs Trust (SNT), also sometimes called a Supplemental Needs Trust or a Disability Payback Trust, is created to ensure that persons with disabilities can receive an inheritance or settlement proceeds without disrupting their eligibility for financially determined, needs-based benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid and without the trust funds being considered and available resource.
Special Needs Trusts
Our highly skilled and compassionate SNT professionals provide objective and appropriate trust administration and investment services.
Special Needs Trust Services Overview
Safeguarding Financial Well-being
General SNT Guidelines
A Special Needs Trust (SNT) can pay for certain non-support items like medical, dental, dietary and other health services needs not covered by public benefits, durable medical equipment like adjustable beds, lifts, and portable bathtubs, modified vehicles for transportation, clothing, furnishings and adaptive equipment, personal electronics, subscriptions and streaming services, recreational and sporting events, vacations and trips, and many other personal needs, all without affecting important public benefits.
SNTs can also own a personal residence that may be modified so a beneficiary may live independently, pay for custodial care and companion services, and provide artistic, musical, and other creative opportunities to encourage a full and enjoyable lifestyle.
If the trust is funded by third-party funds, such as an inheritance or gift, it is not subject to the repayment of any public benefits at the beneficiary’s death. Whereas one created by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian or a court and funded with the beneficiary’s own (first-party) first-party funds, such as proceeds from a personal injury claim, those state agencies providing lifetime benefits must be reimbursed at the beneficiary’s death.
Most government benefit programs, including Medicaid and SSI, will exempt a SNT as a resource only if:
• The SNT is irrevocable
• The beneficiary has no authority to compel distributions from the SNT or to exercise any powers of ownership over assets in the SNT
• In the case of a first-party SNT, the trust assets can only be used for the beneficiary’s supplemental needs and not for support:
1| the SNT has only one lifetime beneficiary who is disabled,
2| was under 65 when the trust created, and
3| the SNT includes terms that require repayment of public assistance benefits at the beneficiary’s death.
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