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Would I lose government benefits such as medicare, medicaid and medical assistance if I have Special Needs Trust?

I am looking to do Special Needs Trust for family member because she has disability and inherited little bit of money (below $50,000).  Her family wants to do a family business.  but she can’t be working by herself and managing her money so i think about Special Needs Trust but my concern if she gets some income would she lose her government benefits which she relays on for her disability and medical condition. Thank you for assistance.

ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU:

The reason for special needs trusts are put into place is to preserve government benefits. In order to create an effective special needs trust, you need to meet certain criteria. If the disabled person has already inherited the asset, you first need to determine if she is receiving SSI or SSDI.  SSDI is a program for persons who worked, paid into social security, and then became disabled. It does not have an asset limit and therefore no special needs trust is needed.  If she is receiving SSI, she may create her own d4a special needs trust but only if she is under the age of 65. The trust must have a pay back provision in it. This means that upon her death, anything left in the trust must be paid to the state so the state can recoup the expenditures it made on her behalf.

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Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

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The elder law attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for estate and asset protection planning. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

 

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