Special Needs Trusts
A Special Needs Trust is very similar to any other trust. Also known as a Supplemental Needs Trust, the big difference is that the trust is for the benefit of an individual who is disabled or is a child. A Special Needs Trust is a legal trust established under statute that allows a physically or mentally disabled or chronically ill person to receive income from the trust without reducing their eligibility for certain public assistance disability benefits provided by Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare or Medicaid.
You can expect that a Special Needs Trust must be approved by the Social Security Administration to verify the terms meet the requirements of federal law. For this reason, you may find your lawyer, who is drafting your trust document, to be asking questions or adding language which doesn’t seem necessary. This is because a good trust document drafter will work hard in advance to make sure the document meets all of the requirements, both under statute as well as under agency regulations, in order to protect the trust from being subject to taxes or disqualified for not having the proper language.
ABLE Trusts – which stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience – are bank accounts that allow people with special needs to save money without jeopardizing their disability benefits. Federal law allows for ABLE accounts but they are established and managed by the Oklahoma State Treasurer.