When you have a child with a disability, you immediately think about their future:
All of these questions need to be addressed, and depending on the abilities of your child, they should be involved in that discussion.
Many parents get a life insurance policy that will assist their child. This is a good idea, but families should also consider setting up a Special Needs Trust Fund.
Why a trust fund?
Because according to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) rules, an individual over the age of 18 cannot have more than $2,000 in cash, properties or assets (such as a car, boat, etc.) If a person qualifies for SSI, not only do they receive monthly financial payments, but they also receive Medicaid. So, even if the person qualifies for SSI and receives $1, the biggest benefit is access to Medicaid.
SSI is encouraging people to work and make money and still qualify for SSI to have access to Medicaid. Using a Special Needs Trust Fund, individuals with disabilities can inherit money, property, and other assets and not affect their eligibility for SSI benefits.
To set up a Special Needs Trust Fund, you must go to a lawyer that understands this area.
There are many attorneys that have expertise in other areas but not necessarily in Special Needs Trust Funds. This is why it is so important that families do their research to find the most qualified attorney.
If you belong to a support group or have friends that have children with disabilities, ask them if they have looked into this and if they might recommend local attorneys that they have used.
Good luck planning for the future but remember to include your child in the decision making.
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