In this article we will explain how to use special needs trusts in order to maximize social security benefits for individuals with disabilities. This article is the seventh in a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan.
In Illinois, a disabled individual is entitled to receive up to $733.00 per month inSupplemental Security Income (“SSI”) if two things are true:
Special Needs Trusts, also known as Supplemental Needs Trusts, are a tool that allow individuals with disabilities to earn income, accumulate wealth, receive gifts and inheritances, and maintain a quality lifestyle while still qualifying for government benefits.
Many government programs for which disabled individuals may be eligible, such as Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and vocational rehabilitation, require that, in order to receive benefits, the disabled individual must have less than $2,000.00 in assets. Most also require that the individual’s income be less than a certain threshold level.
In deciding which attorney to hire, legal skills and experience are prerequisites. The top 3 qualities that set good attorneys apart from mediocre ones, which you can assess early in the relationship are:
In a recent article, we explained how Special Needs Trusts, also known as Supplemental Needs Trusts, can be used to allow individuals with disabilities to earn income, accumulate wealth, receive gifts and inheritances, and maintain a quality lifestyle while still qualifying for government benefits.
As explained in that article, assets held by a Special Needs Trust cannot be used on "shelter" or groceries without reducing the amount of SSI benefits that the beneficiary of the trust is entitled to receive.
Planning for the long-term care of a loved one with special needs requires thought and preparation. The fact is, when it comes to the future needs of a family member with a disability, the possibility that they may outlive you is something that must be considered, especially when the individual is a minor or adult child. Preparations include estimating possible future care-giving costs, as well as making sure all assets are managed properly to best benefit your loved one.
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