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Medicaid Benefits

Congress-Authorized Special Needs Trusts

Settlements give you financial resources to help manage the life-changing consequences of injury. But unless you consider how your settlement might impact the government benefits you could receive – before settlement or distribution – you may inadvertently disqualify yourself from other resources, including Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Here’s why: Settlements give you more assets, and assets are added up to determine eligibility for SSI and Medicaid. Increasing your assets may suddenly make you ineligible, leaving you to pay future medical and living expenses that might otherwise have been covered by public benefits.

If you (or a loved one) are disabled and have received or would have qualified for SSI and/or Medicaid before your settlement, you deserve – and really may need to have – those resources in addition to your settlement. Congress recognized this need, and in 1993 authorized special needs trusts, which can be funded with proceeds from your settlement.

By placing some of your settlement in a special needs trust and having some of your structured settlement payments pay into the trust, you preserve (and actually extend) the purchasing power of your settlement.

What can I do with a special needs trust?

You can use trust dollars for items and services that improve your quality of life and meet your needs and goals, including:

  • Medical and personal care not covered by public benefits;
  • Transportation or travel costs for yourself and/or caregivers;
  • Companion animals; and
  • Ongoing education, including computer and Internet needs.

Some states even allow funds to be used for vacations or vehicle and home purchases.

Complex to Negotiate

Structured settlements with special needs trusts are highly convenient but very complex to negotiate; they require detailed knowledge of state and federal statute, public benefits and tax law. That’s where a Ringler consultant can make the difference for you with expert knowledge and experience in this important area. Ringler is here to help you structure a settlement and trust that’s right for you and your family. For more information about securing your future with a special needs trust, download this brochure. Or contact us today to get started.