The Top Reason Why A Supplemental Needs Trust May Be Right For Your Personal Injury Settlement In Kingston, New York.


Supplemental Needs Trusts are often the best option for personal injury victims when their case is resolved. Instead of getting a check for a lump sum, the settlement funds are deposited in the Supplemental Needs Trust in order to preserve the injury victim’s eligibility for government benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). Let’s explore the top benefit provided by a Supplemental Needs Trust.

Top #1 Benefit of a Supplemental Needs Trust

A Supplemental Needs Trust (also known as a Special Needs Trust) is created to enhance the quality of life of a personal injury victim without jeopardizing his/her eligibility for Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid benefits. A Supplemental Needs Trust is used for people who will need government assistance from Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid programs for their entire life.

Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid programs are available only to people who have low income and limited resources. In New York, eligibility for Supplemental Security Income is the same as for Medicaid. If you are eligible for Supplemental Security Income, you are automatically eligible for Medicaid.

Anyone who owns more than $2,000 worth of “countable resources” is not eligible for Supplemental Security Income. “Countable resources” are cash, any asset that can be readily converted into cash, i.e., stocks and bonds, investment accounts, checking and savings accounts, IRA and 401(k) accounts, etc. Furthermore, the maximum amount that a disabled person may earn each month while maintaining eligibility for SSI and Medicaid is $1,000 per month in 2011. If you have “countable resources” exceeding $2,000 or your monthly income exceeds $1,000, you will not be eligible for Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid.

The settlement proceeds contributed to a Supplemental Needs Trust are not considered “countable resources” of the disabled person because the beneficiary never has control over them. Because the beneficiary of the Supplemental Needs Trust has no control over how the trust money is spent, the money is not counted as a resource by Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid.

If a person is not eligible for SSI, then he/she loses their eligibility for health insurance through Medicaid (at least in New York). For disabled persons with long term and chronic health conditions, such as cerebral palsy or paralysis, maintaining their eligibility for SSI and Medicaid may be critically important. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid will pay for long-term care in a nursing facility for those persons unable to take care of themselves.

The biggest benefit of a Supplemental Needs Trust is that it ensures the continuation of benefits through government programs, such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid, for the long-term financial and medical needs of persons with long-term disabling medical conditions.

Further Questions

If you have questions about your case, consult a dedicated attorney right away.