FLORIDA POOLED SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST
A Pooled Special Needs Trust is an asset protection strategy which is specifically for aged and disabled Floridians for. Provisions for Pooled Trusts were established pursuant to Federal Law, 42 U.S.C. §1396p(d)(4)(C) to help the elderly and persons with disabilities who want to set aside funds legally and ethically while maintaining eligibility for public benefits such as Medicaid and Social Security Disability. The funds placed in a Pooled Special Needs Trust are used to improve quality of life and pay for life enrichment items or necessities that are not covered by other programs. The use of a Pooled Trust allows the individual (Trust Beneficiary) to deposit an unlimited amount of their own money in the Pooled Trust , keep their government benefits and still benefit from the assets held in the Trust.
What is a Pooled Trust or (d)(4)(c) Trust?
While there are several types of Special Needs Trusts, a Pooled Trust is a self-settled trust that is funded with the assets of the Individual (Trust Beneficiary) who is of any age and is determined to be disabled.* see definition of disability
A Pooled Trust is considered an exempt resource by means tested government programs and will not be subject to a transfer penalty if it meets these statutory requirements:
- The Trust is established and maintained by a non-profit association.
- The Trust is funded with assets and/ or income which belong to the Individual (Trust Beneficiary).
- The Trust account may be established by the Individual or a person legally qualified to act on behalf of that individual such as a power of attorney or legal guardian, a parent, grandparent, or a court.
- A separate account is maintained for each beneficiary of the Trust for prudent investment and management purposes. The Trust funds may be pooled into one account.
- To the extent that any funds remaining at death are not retained by the Trust, the state must be reimbursed for the amount of medical assistance paid by the state for the benefit of the individual.
- The Pooled Trust Agreement must be Irrevocable.
Who May Benefit From A Pooled Special Needs Trust?
The Person for who the money is being managed is called the Trust Beneficiary.
Examples of Trust Beneficiaries:
- Persons with disabilities under age 65 * see definition of disability below
- Elderly Persons over 65 (who are not on or applying for SSI)
- Persons living in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities or at Home with care givers.
- Persons on Medicaid or Social Security Disability Programs or other Programs
- Persons who receive court settlements or inheritances that would otherwise disqualify them from public benefits.
Definition of Disability
*Disability is defined at 42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3). The definition of disabled is extensive. In summary an individual is defined as disabled if “he / she is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve month.” The statute requires that the physical or mental impairment be so severe that not only can the individual not do his/her previous work but “cannot, considering his age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy.”
Who Determines Disability Status?
|Government Agency||Program||Information and Documents To Be Submitted|
|Social Security Administration|
|SSDI or SSI||Names and Addresses of all treatment providers, dates of treatments, List of medications, medical records from every provider, Details of your physical limitations in your daily activities, Unpaid medical bills, Signed CF-ES 2514 form|
(Authorization to Disclose)
|Department of Disability Determinations (DDD)||Community MEDS-AD, Medically Needy, and Retroactive Medicaid for SSI||Same as above|
|District Medical Review Team (DMRT)||Nursing Home Medicaid ( ICP: Institutional Care Program), OSS|
(Optional State Supplementation) and HCBS ( Home and Community Based Services)
|Same as above|