General Information

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Supplemental needs trust (SNT) is a vehicle that can be used to enhance the quality of life for disabled individuals. The trust can be used to purchase additional items and services not adequately covered by governmental benefits. The SNT must be used for the benefit of a disabled person and the expenditures made on behalf of that person should supplement, not supplant their government benefits. The Western New York Coalition is a specific type of trust called a pooled trust. Beneficiaries pool their money together to take advantage of better investment opportunities. There are two types of trusts in the Western New York Coalition: the Self-Funded Trust and the Friends and Family Trust.

The Self-Funded Trust is funded with money belonging to the beneficiary under age sixty-five. The funds may be from a personal injury lawsuit, an inheritance, or a back award of public benefits. The key is that the asset belongs to the beneficiary. In general, assets in the name of the beneficiary that exceed the resource limits for public benefits programs will result in a discontinuance of those benefits. However, if the beneficiary puts those funds in a properly drafted SNT, they become exempt for SSI and Medicaid purposes.

The Friends and Family trust is a third party trust. In other words, the money used to fund the trust belongs to someone other than the beneficiary. The beneficiary can be any age. Parents often use third party trusts to provide for the future care of their disabled children