If you have a disability, you may qualify for government benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the Social Security Administration. This is a valuable resource to help offset the costs associated with medical care, accessibility tools, and other factors impacting the finances of people with a disability. SSI is awarded on a need basis, which means your assets and income will be considered in the application process. 

Living in a world that offers little accommodation for disabilities can be expensive despite having more significant assets. This is especially true because SSI benefits only cover the bare minimum of living expenses and medical costs. Making strategic decisions to ensure this does not negatively impact you is the only way to protect your assets and your future financial security. 

A special needs trust is one way to accomplish this, and The Werner Law Group is happy to help you create or finalize this important legal document. 

Special Needs Trusts

These trusts are often used to safeguard a person’s eligibility for SSI while allowing funds for additional items and activities that government benefits do not provide. The assets in a special needs trust are not considered in the financial determinations of the SSI application because they are held in the trust’s name instead of the individual’s. This positively impacts your quality of life by allowing you to enjoy creature comforts without worrying about spending down your savings on everyday needs. 

Qualifications and Criteria

The Social Security Administration outlines guidelines and rules for trusts, so consulting with a qualified attorney is a good idea to ensure requirements are met. Generally, a special needs trust can be established by anyone under the age of 65 who has a disability, as classified by the Social Security Administration. Further, there are restrictions on when disbursements from the trust count as income and what the money can be used for. 

A special needs trust can be a first-party or third-party trust. A first-party special needs trust is established by someone for their own benefit. For example, if you are receiving SSI benefits and receive a large inheritance, you may want to put the money from the inheritance into a special needs trust in order to continue qualifying for SSI. A third-party trust is created by someone else for an individual with a disability when the money used to fund the trust did not belong to the person with the disability. 

Special needs trusts can be helpful tools for obtaining government benefits while also maintaining your quality of life. When you’re looking for a legal representative to help you with this process, The Werner Law Group is here and ready to protect your assets. We typically have a ten day turn around on special needs trusts and can often get them done more quickly if needed. If you need answers about any type of trust today, you can text Leslie at 361-648-6888.