Update: The implementation date for the "look back" has been extended from July 1, 2021…
If you are disabled and are receiving Medicaid, you are eligible for benefits only as long as you have less than $15,150 in resources (2018 figure). If you receive a sum of money as a result of a judgment or settlement in a lawsuit, an inheritance, gift, or from another source, your receipt of these funds can and often does result in the loss of your government benefits. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your eligibility will be compromised if you have more than $2,000 in assets.
Transferring the money you receive to someone else will not solve this problem. In fact, you can be penalized for such a transfer with a loss of your SSI benefits for up to three years. Fortunately, there is an asset protection strategy that, when properly executed, will permit you to retain the benefit of your additional assets and also to maintain your existing government benefits.
If you qualify, a First Party Supplemental Needs Trust can be set up to protect your assets. You must be under 65 years of age, and the trust must be created by a parent, grandparent, guardian, or court. Your own assets will be used to fund the trust and will be protected by it, so that they can be used on your behalf to enhance your quality of life and care. Any amount left in the trust after you pass on must be used first to reimburse Medicaid for the cost of your care.
Lamson & Cutner’s attorneys have deep experience in advising clients on these issues, and in creating First Party Supplemental Needs Trusts. Other solutions may be available as well. We can help protect your assets and maintain your benefits. You can Contact Us via this website, or call our main office at: (212) 447-8690
To learn more about the ways that Lamson & Cutner can help you protect your financial stability, read our special report: 25 Strategies to Prevent Financial Ruin from Long-Term Health Care Costs.