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Is There a Difference between a Qualified Income Trust and a Special Needs Trust?

Santa, Is There a Difference Between a Qualified Income Trust and a Special Needs Trust?

Yes, Virginia, there is a difference and you need to consult a qualified elder law attorney to know which document you need based on your personal circumstances.

A ‘Qualified Income Trust‘ is required if you are applying for Medicaid assistance and your gross monthly income exceeds the state limit (for 2015 the monthly income limit for a single person in Florida will be $2,199.00). The trust is a legal document that allows the amount of your excess income to be placed in a separate account. Your patient responsibility of paying your gross income (less $105.00) to the facility, each month, is still in effect.  Even though you may meet all other requirements if you don’t set up a qualified income trust Virginia, your Medicaid application will be denied.

On the other hand Virginia, a special needs trust may be right for you if your total countable assets exceed the state’s resource limit for SSI (supplemental security income) or Medicaid.  If you are under age 65 a special needs trust can be created for you by your parents, grandparents, guardian or a Court.  You can place your excess assets into the trust and they will be exempt.  The assets can only be used for your sole benefit to improve your quality life and quality and the quality of your medical care.  Some examples of permissible distributions include:

  • housing expenses
  • assistive devices and technology
  • home health services
  • transportation
  • education (including tutoring)
  • alternative and/or experimental medical treatment
  • vacations

Yes,Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. If your medical needs cannot be addressed by purchasing private health insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace, then you should have your situation evaluated by Stephanie L. Schneider, Board Certified Elder Law Attorney to understand your options and make an informed decision that will bring you peace of mind.

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