William and Sherry Allen have a daughter with special needs, June, who has never left home. Although June does not work, she receives SSI each month, which she relies upon for support. Several years back, Mr. Allen was diagnosed with dementia, and he has since moved into a group home that costs $4,000 per month. Mrs. Allen is concerned that this expense will eventually drain their savings and leave no money to care for June, who may live long after Mr. and Mrs. Allen pass away.
Faced with this dilemma, Mrs. Allen submitted an ALTCS application to cover the costs of Mr. Allen’s group home, but it was denied on account of the couple having too many assets. An ALTCS representative informed Mrs. Allen that they would have to spend down a good portion of their assets before Mr. Allen could qualify for the benefit.
There is a solution that allows the Allens to save money for their daughter.
An Elder Law attorney can help the Allens establish a special needs trust, in which they can set assets aside for June. And unlike other types of trusts, special needs trusts do not count against trust beneficiaries for purposes of public benefit eligibility. As such, if the Allens fund a special needs trust for June, the assets in the trust will not jeopardize June’s eligibility for SSI. Further, establishing such a trust will help Mr. Allen qualify for the ALTCS benefit with as little delay as possible. As long as the Allens are careful to abide by strict rules, they can accomplish both their goals of helping their daughter and qualifying Mr. Allen for the ALTCS benefit.