Parents of children with special needs, such as those with cerebral palsy should visit a lawyer and set up a Special Needs Trust. A special needs trust is set up allow use of property for the beneficiary without losing access to essential government services and benefits.
As it stands now a person who is disabled cannot inherit more than $2,000- it will interrupt his or her government benefits. Especially important are long-term care and nursing home benefits under the Medicaid welfare program.
Government benefit programs are now recognizing that family contributions can only improve a disabled person’s life. As long as the family’s contributions are supplementary and do not duplicate government benefit programs, they are allowed. Some current government benefit programs do let the family to provide some supplementary income and resources to the person with a disability. However, government regulations are very strict, and they are carefully monitored for abuse.
Special Needs Trusts are frequently used as a way to receive an inheritance or personal injury settlement proceeds on behalf of a disabled person in order to allow the person to qualify for Medicaid benefits.
A special needs trust can be used to buy such things as:
- uninsured medical and dental expenses, eyeglasses
- Maintenance of vehicles
- Insurance (including payment of premiums)
- Transportation (including buying a vehicle )
- Athletic training, gym membership or competitions
- Personal care attendant or escort
- Essential dietary needs
- Purchase materials for a hobby or recreation activity
- Purchase a computer or other electronic equipment
- Pay for trips or vacations,concerts,outings
- Buy things that add to quality to life: movies,video games, books, crafts , etc.
It is strongly advised if you are a parent of a special needs child that you speak with an attorney regarding the set up of a special needs trust.