If you have a loved one with special needs, no doubt you are very concerned about their lifestyle after you die. Providing for loved ones who cannot care for themselves and rely on Medicaid to get the care they need can be very stressful. This is why a special needs trust is of paramount importance to any family in this situation.

One of the most important things that a special needs trust will do for your loved one is protect his or her access to SSI, or Supplemental Security Income. Often, the key part to protect is your loved one’s access to Medicaid.

The quandary of SSI

One of the most difficult aspects of retaining access to SSI is that it requires the individual to have a very low income. It is frustratingly easy for recipients of SSI to lose access to the program as a result of inheritance or even simply having too much money sitting in his or her bank account.

A special needs trust can help ensure that the government continues to extend vital Medicaid benefits to your loved one.

How does it work?

A common colloquial term for a special needs trust is the “parents’ pocket.” Essentially, a special needs trust can step in and provide funding to cover amenities beyond the very basics. These expenses can include recreation, counseling, education or more specialized forms of medical treatment that Medicaid may not cover.

The mechanisms behind special needs trust can be very complicated. Working with an experienced estate planner can help ensure your loved one remains secure for life.