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Posts Tagged ‘SSI’

Serving As A Trustee Some Do’s and Dont’s

If you serve as a trustee, whether by choice or necessity, here is a list of suggestions that may help make your job easier, and highlight a few common mistakes that I hope you will avoid once you take the helm. With this in mind: 1.Keep Receipts You may think that it goes without saying that a trustee will keep receipts, but we are continually surprised at how frequently a trustee is unable to produce any documentation which corroborates purchases made with trust funds. Often the issue arises in the context of reimbursement of expenditures the trustee has made. Here's…

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Coalition Releases Report on Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Delays and Other Problems

A report from the Strengthen Social Security Coalition recognizes the importance of how core administrative functions impact the lives of 57 million Social Security and 8 million SSI recipients. At an event on Capitol Hill, National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) Executive Director Paul Nathanson joined U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Keith Ellison (D-MN), David Cicilline (D-RI), as well as other Strengthen Social Security Coalition leaders. They spoke to fixes needed and called for more funding for administrative functions. Specifically, the Transition Report for the New Commissioner of Social Security report highlights problems with issues that the…

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Sometimes Disability Benefits Can Be a Bad Thing

  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that provides cash assistance to people with disabilities who are unable to participate in sustained gainful activities. Unlike some programs, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, SSDI provides benefits to people regardless of their financial circumstances. Because SSDI is an insurance program that most workers contribute to through payroll taxes, as long as an SSDI recipient is not earning much money from working, he or she can have unearned income (income not earned by working) and unlimited resources and still receive SSDI. On top of the cash benefit, people…

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Help for parents who have children with disabilities

Parents of children with special needs are no strangers to years of expensive care for their children. As a result, a growing number of financial-services companies, lawyers and financial planners are referring to themselves as “special-needs planners”, and help parents provide for children with disabilities, particularly in the event that parents are no longer alive to do so. These professionals provide guidance for families through the complex maze of federal and state programs for disabled individuals, and help establish trusts, insurance policies, retirement plans and estate-planning documents.  The financial crisis has added urgency to families’ concerns insofar as how their…

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Pay close attention to your aging parents on a holiday visit this year.

Does the normally tidy house now seem neglected? Is there hoarding? Do you notice memory problems, confusion or physical unsteadiness? Discovering that a parent's physical or mental health is declining can be heavy on the heart. It also can be hard on your finances, states the Wall Street Journal. "The first thing is don't panic. "Come up with a plan." Feeling overwhelmed may prompt you to spend money on the wrong things, such as full-time care, when your parent just needs delivered meals or someone to run errands a few times a week. Here are some tips: 1. Assess needs…

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When a Family Member Serves as Trustee – “Fair and Honest Is Not Enough”

Parents typically face two choices when selecting a trustee to manage a special needs trust for their child when the parents have died. One choice is a professional trustee–a bank or trust company or an individual who is in the business of serving as a trustee. Of course, professional trustees charge fees, and many banks and trust companies have a minimum trust balance requirement in order to serve as trustee. The other choice is to name a family member to serve as trustee, such as a sibling of the trust beneficiary or some other trusted family member. However, in most…

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What is a Special (Supplemental) Needs Trust and Why is it Advisable?

In the State of Maryland, and Federal Law parents of a special needs child can set up a Supplemental (or a Special Needs) trust for their children which will not disqualify them from government benefits, such as Social Security and Medicaid. Unfortunately, prior to this protection, parents would simply disinherit their disabled children rather than see their hard earned savings be squandered to the state. Now, the child receives money from the trust for their extra needs i.e. what the state does not supply, such as vacations; special equipment; medical help that the state does not provide or supply, glasses,…

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I’ve heard about Special Needs Trusts but what is a Pooled Trust?

A pooled trust is created by the person with special needs, a parent, grandparent, guardian, or a court. However, the trust is administered by a non-profit organization. The trust is funded by the disabled beneficiary’s assets. Each beneficiary has a separate account established, but for the purposes of investment and management of funds, the trust “pools” all these various accounts into one.  However, upon the death of the disabled beneficiary, if there are funds remaining in the account, the trust pays to the State of Maryland, an amount up to the total amount of Medical Assistance provided to the beneficiary.  The…

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Can your net worth disqualify you from VA Benefits?

YES. Net worth means your and your dependents net household asset value . It includes such assets as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and any property other than the veteran’s residence. There is no official set cap, unlike Medicaid, on how much net worth a veteran and his dependents can have, but net worth cannot be excessive. The decision as to whether a claimant’s net worth is excessive depends on the facts of each case i.e life expectancy – 96 year old has $50k, rather than 70 year old with $50k. There are some  exclusions to income that allow…

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Special Needs Estate Planning

Whether paid directly to a disabled person, or into an ordinary trust, most gifts and inheritances and accident, workers compensation, divorce, and other litigation recoveries jeopardize government aid and even may have to repay prior benefits.

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