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Probate And Elder Law Services In Brevard County
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Special needs trust can store past-due benefits

When it comes to post-retirement, end-of-life care, finding the right balance of trust funds and benefit calculations can be a challenging dance. Many folks in Florida can find it a bit confusing when juggling Social Security Disability Insurance payments and Medicaid asset maximums. However, with careful planning, and possibly a little help, there are options to maximize the amount of aid offered to any one individual. 

A recent news article offers a hypothetical case in which a woman, post-retirement, has become incompetent due to Alzheimer's and must be placed in a memory care unit of a nursing home. She has no income, and has used up her savings. Now she is looking at her options for Medicaid and Social Security disability. 

She would qualify for an SSDI benefit of $2,687, but the maximum allowable income for Medicaid is $2,205. One way to keep the benefit and qualify for Medicaid is to use a Miller Trust. If the woman had been denied her disability claim at first, and is now owed back payments, any payments in excess of $2,000 could also jeopardize her benefits. In this case, a special needs trust can be established in the woman's name. 

It can be trying to attempt to figure out all the rules of SSDI and Medicaid. If the person is incompetent, the task will typically fall to busy caregivers and guardians. Either way, sometimes a person in Florida needs help. A floridaelderlaw.net/Estate-Planning.shtml">special needs trust, and other trusts, can be established with the aid of an experienced attorney. 

Source: yourglenrosetx.com, "Coordination of Social Security disability benefits with qualification for Medicaid", Sandra W. Reed, Nov. 20, 2017

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