Update: The implementation date for the "look back" has been extended from July 1, 2021…
If you have a disabled child, planning for their financial future is crucial. Disabled individuals are often eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Those on SSI are automatically eligible to receive Medicaid benefits.
If you pass away and leave an inheritance outright to your disabled child, this can be a serious mistake. Anyone who has more than $2,000 in resources (generally financial assets) is not eligible for SSI. Thus, the receipt of virtually any inheritance is likely to cause your child to lose all of their SSI benefits.
The result would be that the inheritance which you intended to help secure your child’s long-term future might end up being spent very quickly on their medical care or long-term care. After spending down the inheritance, your child might end up back on SSI, but with little or nothing to supplement their care, should they want or need something they can’t afford with their SSI income. Currently, Supplemental Security Income is only $733 per month.
This is a major issue no matter your child’s age. If you pass away at 80 and your disabled child is 55, he or she will still potentially have decades of life ahead. By setting up a Supplemental Needs Trust, you can ensure that an inheritance or gift will not disqualify your child from receiving Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid benefits.
A Supplemental Needs Trust is a key component of a plan for the financial well-being of a disabled child. As attorneys for the Elderly and Disabled, Lamson & Cutner is extremely well-versed in advising on and establishing this kind of trust. If you live in New York and have a disabled child, please call us today and visit our website to find out how best to ensure that your child will be provided for, once you have passed on.