Today, we continue from where we left off in our previous blog with a look at SSI, Medicaid and SNTs. These three programs are also related to each other in a similar fashion as the three programs explained in the previous blog.
Social Security Income (SSI) is a federal welfare program funded by general tax revenues (not payroll taxes) which makes monthly payments to people who have low income, few assets and are age 65 or older, blind or disabled. The maximum monthly benefit is $674 in 2009.
Medicaid is a government health program that pays medical bills for certain categories of low-income individuals with few assets, including; children, pregnant women, parents of eligible children, and people with disabilities. It is funded jointly by the federal government and the states, but administered by each state individually. Medicaid benefits are automatically provided to SSI recipients in most states.
A Special Needs Trust (SNT) is a trust set up to provide for a disabled individuals extra and supplemental needs, other than basic food, shelter and health care expenses that may be covered by public assistance benefits that the beneficiary may be entitled to receive under various programs such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. Assets in an SNT will not be counted by “means tested” programs like SSI and Medicaid. The SNT therefore protects the beneficiary’s access to these government programs.
The way these three programs relate to each other is similar to the three programs in the previous blog. If a person is on SSI, then he/she is automatically enrolled in Medicaid. Then, if that person is injured and receives insurance settlement monies, it often times will be put into a SNT to protect that persons eligibility to participate in SSI and Medicaid.
Medivest specializes in the area of Medicare Set Asides and we can assist you in referrals to Elder law attorneys and/or Social Security attorneys, if expert assistance in the other programs is needed.