Some situations require specific plans. Being a special needs individual, or being a parent to one, can potentially require thoughtful financial planning. Since a person's assets can affect their ability to receive government benefits, some individuals choose to utilize a special needs trust to hold some of the assets. Florida residents with these needs can choose to combine the trust with government benefits in order to provide resources for a wider array of needs and wants.
A person with a disability may qualify for several types of government benefits. There is Social Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Each program has its own requirements and some programs rely on a person having certain income requirements to maintain eligibility.
A special needs person who receives Social Security Income may have benefits lowered if the individual has assets that total over $2,000 or if he or she earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity income limit. However, the Social Security Income may help fill important needs for a person, and that person will want to protect it. The person, or the person's parent, can choose to create a special needs trust to hold other assets in excess of $2,000.
A Florida special needs trust can supplement other benefits by providing for a disabled person's medical needs. The trust can be a useful tool to help a person stay within program income limits. In Florida, many people choose to consult with an attorney if they decide to create a special needs trust for themselves or their disabled child.
Source: investmentnews.com, "Building Blocks of Special Needs Financial Planning", Heather Lavallee, Oct. 16, 2017