To qualify and then continue to receive SSI, Medicaid, and some other assistance programs, there are strict limits on the value of assets the person with a disability may own. This may pose a problem when you or your family try to provide for the long-term needs of the person with the brain injury. For example, if someone in the family plans to leave an inheritance or life insurance benefit to the brain injured person, that act may affect their eligibility. If the person suffered a brain injury as a result of an accident, there may be an insurance settlement involved, which again can affect their eligibility.
A way to preserve a person’s eligibility for these assistance programs while also putting aside for long-term care is the Special Needs Trust. This is a special kind of trust which holds title to property for the benefit of a child or adult who has a disability. The Special Needs Trust can be used to provide for the needs of the disabled person to supplement benefits received from various governmental assistance programs. A trust can hold cash, personal property, or real property, or can be the beneficiary of life insurance proceeds. The trust is established through a local probate court and will require the services of a lawyer. A person will be named as trustee and that person will maintain control of the assets. (1)
With regard to all guidelines mentioned above, please check with your local Social Security office. Guidelines mentioned here may or may not apply to your specific situation.