The quality of life for people living with disabilities in Florida is leaps and bounds ahead of what it used to be in decades past. Now, with the right kind of care, these individuals can typically expect to live long, full lives. But what happens when someone with a disability turns 18 or their primary caretaker is no longer able to fulfill their duties? In such cases, a special needs trust is an invaluable asset.

Currently, 40 million people in the United States are disabled. With a population of approximately 320 million, this means that one out of every eight people is living with some kind of disability. These individuals often require specialized care and support that may feel financially out of reach for most families. Medicaid and Social Security Supplemental Income greatly help with this side of things, but they are only available to individuals who have limited resources.

Special needs trusts are one of the best options for helping people with disabilities qualify for these services. These irrevocable trusts hold the property intended for a person’s use — including inheritances, personal injury settlements, gifts and earned incomes — but are considered exempt assets. This means that they are not counted when a person applies for needs-based benefits.

Medical care is expensive in Florida, and even relatively well-off individuals struggle to handle health care bills. People living with disabilities who require constant and regular treatment, therapies and more may not be able to afford such even on a decent wage. By utilizing a special needs trust, these individuals can gain access to social programs that help cover the cost of such care.