The information in this article is news that was reported last year, but we believe that it bears repeating due to the impact that the legislation has on the hundreds of thousands of people in the military who have children with disabilities. With this legislation passed through the National Defense Authorization Act, a special needs trust can now be put in place to protect a disabled child's benefits from being discontinued due to an inheritance that the child receives from a parent.
In the past, the Medicaid benefits of a disabled child would be jeopardized if the child received a survivor benefit from a deceased parent who received military benefits. However, with the new legislation, children with disabilities can continue to receive the government benefits upon which they rely through the protection of a special needs trust after the death of their parent who received military benefits. According to a web article posted on www.prweb.com, "Special needs trusts make it possible for persons with disabilities to receive assistance through Medicaid, a means-tested program, to pay for the high costs of long-term care and to still afford basic expenses such as personal care items, books, and clothing."
Please note that special needs trusts are an estate planning tool not just for families who are in the military, but for any person receiving Medicaid who could potentially receive an inheritance. Our office prepares many special needs trusts each year to help protect the benefits of disabled persons, so please contact our office if you need assistance with this important asset protection measure.