Law Practice of David L. McGuffey, LLC

UPDATED: January 12, 2021

Why should we consider Special Needs Trusts (SNTs)? Because Medicaid may be your loved one's only way of securing health care benefits; SSI benefits may be your loved one's only source of income, and ... they can lose those benefits if someone else tries "to help them" the wrong way.

Both Medicaid and SSI are "means tested" programs. In plain language, to qualify for a means-tested program, you must be poor enough under the program rules (e.g., the SSI or Medicaid rules). However, as important as Medicaid is, you should also keep in mind that it "won't put groceries on the table!" Medicaid pays health care bills, but never puts money in the beneficiary's pocket. So, while we may want to help our loved ones "with the groceries" (or otherwise - keep in mind that there is more to life than having your medical bills paid), we don't want to do it in a way that causes our loved ones to lose Medicaid and SSI. That is where Special Needs Trusts come into play. Simply put, SNTs are important tools that help us qualify for Medicaid and SSI and, at the same time, meet other needs that an elderly or disabled person experience. In some ways, SNTs let us have our cake and eat it too.

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