Public benefits for those with special needs need to be protected through a special needs trust. This is also referred to as a supplemental needs trust. Protecting public benefits by way of a trust is important, as it will not compromise a person’s eligibility for government programs, which are typically based on their financial assets.
Some of the entitlements special needs individuals are eligible for include, but are not limited to, the following benefits: Medicaid, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), food stamps, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Section 8 housing, family assistance, safety net assistance, senior citizen rent increase exemption (or a similar program), the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) or a similar program, Family Health Plus (or a similar program), and more.
There are numerous benefits available for special needs individuals, and without the assistance of a special needs planning attorney, they may not get what they need and deserve. A special needs trust is expressly drafted to supplement, not replace, public benefits. Funds like this type of trust may not be given directly to the person in need. They must be given to a third party that provides the goods/services.