There are several different benefits that a person with a disability can receive. Two of the biggest benefits are Supplemental Security Income (“SSI” and Medicaid. These two benefits combined provide monthly cash and healthcare coverage for a person with a disability. To receive these benefits, an applicant must be determined to be disabled, and meet financial eligibility requirements. More information on the financial eligibility requirements is on our special needs page. One of the biggest benefits of being on Medicaid is qualifying for a Medicaid waiver.
A Medicaid waiver is available to recipients of Medicaid who would, without the provision of a waiver, need a nursing home. The waiver provides services to give the recipient the same level of care as a nursing home, but in their own home. The services can include attendant care services to assist with activities of daily living, nursing services, transportation, care management, and other services. Given the broad amount of services available, protecting this Medicaid waiver by assuring the person with a disability is eligible for SSI and Medicaid is crucial. Some of my clients receive services from Medicaid that if purchased on the open market would cost them over $6,000 a month.
Care must be taken to ensure that gifts and inheritances are not given directly to the person with disability. If a SSI and Medicaid recipient has over $2,000, the will lose their benefits, and it can take two to three months to get the benefits back, Special needs planning prevents these benefits from being lost by redirecting gifts and inheritances to a trust for the benefit of the SSI recipient. The funds placed into such trust do not count against qualification for benefits. While the funds can be transferred after they are received, this will disrupt benefits for months and can cost thousands of dollars. Do not delay special needs planning, call an experienced elder law attorney today.