Family money is carefully managed to fit disability benefit rules and provide additional perks for a disabled person to enjoy some autonomy. They may have spending money for their personal use while retaining valuable benefits.
Protecting Social Security Disability (SSDI)
If a family member has worked in the past but is now permanently disabled, social security deductions qualify them for benefits under the Social Security Disability (SSDI) program. They are usually around $1,000.00 monthly and include Medicare coverage. This program allows disabled persons to receive income from investments or inheritances (not employment) and still get benefits.
Developing Irrevocable Trusts
When elder family members are concerned about qualifying themselves for long-term care Medicaid benefits, and also concerned about a disabled family member or child, funds can be put into an irrevocable trust for the SSDI recipient. There is no penalty for gifting these funds, even if the elder family member makes it during the five-year Medicaid look-back period. This strategy preserves your family’s financial legacy.
Preserving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Impoverished disabled persons may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It provides funds for basic needs like food, shelter, and medical care with an average of $800.00 monthly plus Medicaid coverage and Section 8 housing assistance. You or a family member must be disabled, not previously employed or contributed to the Social Security system, and own no more than $2,000.00 combined money or assets.
Financial planning under SSI is done carefully to preserve these valuable benefits for those who need them. The SSI rules are pretty complicated with regard to gifts of money, food, or other support. The wrong type of help could cause benefits to be reduced or lost.
Sheltering Childhood Disability Benefits
Young people who become disabled before turning 22 may be eligible for the Childhood Disability Benefits program. The rules of the program are similar to SSI, but with additional requirements regarding the parents’ Social Security status. While SSDI recipients enjoy the freedom to inherit or receive (but not earn) money, SSI recipients do not.
Trusts for the disabled are essential to shelter money for their benefit, regardless of income level. We create a strategy for managing assets according to how money is spent to ensure the benefits aren’t jeopardized. If money is left in a Will, a trust is also created to retain disability benefits.
Contact The offices of Gold and Dezik to understand the difference between a first-party and third-party Special Needs Trust. We make sure that your family member or child retains their benefits and can spend them on anything that legitimately improves or maintains their health, independence, or quality of life.
The attorneys at the Law Office of Gold and Dezik are dedicated to helping you and your loved ones understand estate and trust planning, elder law, Medicaid planning, and trust settlements. We discuss New York estate laws in and around the Niagara Falls area to help you create an estate plan that meets your family’s needs.
The Law Office of Gold and Dezik assists clients in the Western New York area, including Niagara Falls, Lockport, Buffalo, and beyond.