Supplemental Needs Trust (SNT)

Proper Handling of Supplemental Needs Trusts

One of the most important aspects of working with disabled clients is helping them preserve funds for the long-term improvement of their quality of life. With your help, families can rest assured that their loved ones are well taken care of for the rest of their life.

A Supplemental Needs Trust (SNT) is the key to protecting funds without jeopardizing public benefits. The funds in the trust are allocated appropriately for the supplemental care of the disabled individual (beneficiary) for life. If the trust is set up correctly, the beneficiary will not risk losing eligibility for government benefits.

Categories of Supplemental Needs Trusts

An SNT can be either self-settled or a third-party trust. To qualify, an individual must be Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid eligible and be considered disabled by definition of Social Security Disability.

Self-Settled SNT

A self-settled trust is for disabled individuals under the age of 65 with and is funded with the individual’s own assets. Upon the individual’s death, Medicaid is to be reimbursed and any remaining balance will be distributed to designated beneficiaries.

Third-Party SNT

A third-party trust is funded by someone other than the beneficiary. Once established, the funds aren’t considered as countable assets for Medicaid purposes. These funds can pay for comforts and luxuries in which public assistance funds cannot pay for. Upon the death of the beneficiary, the remaining funds can be distributed to their designees.

Can an SNT Be Terminated?

A trust is irrevocable once established but will be terminated upon the death of the primary beneficiary or if there is a change in law or eligibility for benefits. Additionally, termination can occur if the primary beneficiary’s condition improves and SSI or Medicaid assistance is no longer needed or if the trust no longer holds sufficient funds in comparison to the cost of administration.

Trustee Guidelines

The trustee of an SNT can be a bank, lawyer, or family member, and more than one person can serve as trustee. The trustee(s) manages and administers the trust provisions and is held to a high standard of conduct as they carry out their duties. They must put the best interest of the beneficiary first at all times.

Protecting Both the Client and Government Benefits

Very sensitive issues are involved when applying for governmental benefits and programs. Without careful planning and forethought, the well-intentions of loved ones or the inexperience of an attorney can prove disastrous where a disabled person’s benefits are concerned. Partnering with a firm such as Synergy Settlement Solutions can help you ensure that your client’s SNT is properly administered.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please submit our contact request form or call (877) 242-0022.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

TESTIMONIALS

"I recently engaged Synergy to assist with a complicated PTD settlement involving a substantial Medicare Set Aside. The claimant’s wife has been providing full time attendant care which is not Medicare covered. The Synergy nurse was able to do a full analysis of non-Medicare covered expenses which far exceeded the value of the MSA analysis performed by the carrier’s contracted MSA provider. The non- Medicare figures became the main focus of the settlement negotiations and more than doubled the value of the case. Although I could estimate the attendant care figures, the nurse added in other items that I would not have routinely considered. I also asked Synergy to evaluate the EC’s MSA as well as their prescription review. Synergy offered insight about the prescription donut hole which I did not have a clear understanding about. Again, their insight and information added a great deal of value to the overall settlement. Not only did I learn from Synergy but was able to educate my clients in the process. These are very complex and complicated areas; I will use Synergy again and again!"

Rosemary Eure
Lancaster & Eure

“Synergy Lien Resolution Services just finished getting an ERISA lien dramatically reduced for me. I tried for months, asked for the plan etc., tried to understand it, to little avail. Synergy got it slashed way beyond what the carrier told me that they would ever agree to. It cost my client peanuts, benefited her huge. I won’t ever screw around with trying to get those reduced; from now on they all go to Synergy.”

Rick Kolodinsky
Rick Kolodinsky, P.A.

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