Practice Area

Special Needs & Disabilities

In order for many disabled people to obtain health insurance and other assistance, they must qualify for Medicaid and other government programs based on financial need. We help our clients to legally protect assets so as to retain or obtain eligibility for these sometimes life-giving benefits. This planning also applies to our clients who wish to provide for a disabled heir in a will or a trust.In order for many disabled people to obtain health insurance and other assistance, they must qualify for Medicaid and other government programs based on financial need. We help our clients to legally protect assets so as to retain or obtain eligibility for these sometimes life-giving benefits. This planning also applies to our clients who wish to provide for a disabled heir in a will or a trust.Special Needs Trusts allow people to keep the benefit of their money and their public benefits. For example, having unprotected money can cause people to lose their Medicaid, SSI and any other public benefits which depend upon financial need.

Special Needs Trusts provide a state and federally approved way for individuals on need-based public assistance to supplement their benefits without disqualifying themselves from benefit eligibility. Often, when a person is receiving Medicaid, SSI, Food Stamps, housing assistance or other need-based government benefits, these benefits, particularly Medicaid health insurance, are irreplaceable or have an incalculable replacement value. Individuals who are receiving Medicaid may not qualify for any other health insurance by reason of their disabilities. Yet, if the person comes into money (through a settlement, inheritance, winning the lottery, or otherwise) their newfound assets can cause them to lose their benefits because they would no longer meet the financial tests for eligibility. In order to qualify for Medicaid and other need-based government benefits, the individuals must have under a certain amount of assets and be earning below a certain income. Coming into other assets may therefore substantially harm the person by causing them to lose their health insurance or other need-based government benefits. Special needs trusts can help address this problem.

Some individuals may not be on need-based government benefits at present but may require those benefits in the future. Often the person is not receiving the benefits because they simply did not apply or because the government improperly denied eligibility. Other times, the person may not now qualify but, due to the nature of the injuries and the prognosis for future care, the person may outlive their money and may require need-based benefits in the future. Special needs trusts can address this situation, as well.

Fortunately, there are sound legal methods to protect the proceeds of civil actions, inheritances, and other assets of disabled people. The goal of all special needs planning is to provide a safe harbour for the disabled individual’s money without jeopardizing the person’s need-based government benefits. There are certain trusts and transactions that the government permits (or has been forced to permit) to allow the disabled person to qualify or retain eligibility for need-based benefits while keeping the benefit of their assets.

 

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 Contact us today by calling our Delray Beach, FL office at (561) 733-4242 or click the “book a consultation” box below to schedule a time.

 

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Solkoff ResourcesWELCOME

Because each person’s case is different, because laws and rules change rapidly, because different states can have different laws and because this article was not written as legal advice, you should not rely upon this article or any other resources on www.solkoff.com as legal advice. You may link to the articles and pages on www.solkoff.com. If you wish to post, copy or distribute the articles or any portion thereof, we invite and require you to first obtain written consent from Solkoff Legal, P.A. All articles are Copyright :copyright: Solkoff Legal, P.A. unless otherwise stated.

Attorney Scott Solkoff has worked together with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs on three significant projects designed to benefit Florida’s seniors. The first was the development of the Florida Guardianship Education Coalition which Mr. Solkoff co-chaired with the late Honorable Thomas E. Penick, Jr. The second was the development of a pooled special needs trust managed by a legislatively-created direct service organization. The trust is the first of its kind to provide legislatively-authorized protection for assets of persons with disabilities while also providing funding for indigent people who require otherwise cost-prohibitive guardianship. The third project is the housing of SHINE volunteers in the offices of Solkoff Legal, P.A.

 

Solkoff Legal, P.A. was selected as a counseling site where seniors can meet with trained volunteers who provide consumer guidance on Medicare and other insurance choices. Solkoff Legal, P.A. provides complimentary space and support services for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs SHINE program. For more information on the SHINE program or to set an appointment with a SHINE representative, visit the SHINE website. The fact that the SHINE program meets in the law offices of Solkoff Legal, P.A. does not imply any legal advice or endorsement by Solkoff Legal, P.A. of advice provided by SHINE representatives and nor does this program infer any endorsement of Solkoff Legal, P.A. by the SHINE program or the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. This program is part of the charitable mission of Solkoff Legal, P.A.