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Planning for People with Disabilities

When disability is an issue, an attorney and the client must review the goals of the client. Together, they must also review the nature and type of disability of the beneficiary and they also want to review what public assistance, if any, an individual may have or what they may receive in the future.

Disability planning is one that often requires the understanding of the progression of the disability and planning for what the future needs of a person with a disability may include.

A knowledgeable and compassionate DC trusts attorney will be able to walk you through all of the regulations in place, as well as understand your vision in planning for people with disabilities and what exactly you want to provide for, ensuring they can maintain all of the provisions from the state, as well as live comfortably with as much independence as they desire and are capable of.

Special Needs Trust

A special needs trust is a vehicle that preserves and manages assets for the benefit of an individual without negatively reassessing his or her eligibility for means-tested benefits. In essence, it is a supplemental trust meant to improve the person’s quality of life and/or provide good services which public benefits don’t cover. A special needs trustee is often the person that advocates for the beneficiary and the person who often pursues further benefits or assists the special needs person in order to maintain or increase their independence.

A special needs trust is a way to preserve imminent assets for the benefit of an individual who has special needs and who may be eligible for means-tested benefits. The idea of a special needs trust is that it is a supplemental trust that doesn’t interfere with the benefits that an individual is receiving or may receive.

The purpose of a special needs trust is often to improve the quality of life of an individual and to provide the goods and services that public benefits do not include.

Impact of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, health insurance can be purchased regardless of preexisting conditions and without any limits on benefit. Hence, an individual may be able to obtain health insurance through either of these programs without the use of special needs to preserve assets in an exempt manner.

However, assuming that the ACA and Medicaid Expansion only provide health insurance for individuals who continue to need public benefits for income or other health services beyond basic health insurance such as SSI, long-term medical assistance, along with people with developmental disabilities, asset preservation for resource eligibility will remain an important planning strategy.