On May 17, 2012 the Social Security Administration published a change to the POMS (Social Security Manual) regarding Trusts. Although the change only added two examples to the long-standing policy on sole benefit trusts, there was a surprise. Example 1 to SI 01120.201 F. indicates a potential change in policy regarding what expenses will be allowed for sole benefit trusts. Travel is often paid from Special Needs Trusts. Under the change, the Administration will consider a Special Needs Trust that allows for payment of travel for family members to come and visit the beneficiary to be in violation of the sole benefit rule. This would negate the protection of the SNT. So, no paying for travel of visitors. This goes for SSI recipients and all Medicaid recipients in Florida. We are able to continue to pay for beneficiaries to travel and take vacation. Please contact our office with any questions or concerns. Travis D. Finchum, Esq. Co-Trustee, Guardian Trust
Showing posts from May, 2012
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Attention Tampa Bay area families! The Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa is hosting Sunshine Sunday on Sunday, May 27th. Sunshine Sunday is a special day for children with special needs and their families to explore the museum with lights and sounds turned down, as well as special programming and resources. Click here to read more details and register to attend.
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Many of our friends and colleagues have been questioning us regarding the recent Federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals case Center for Special Needs Trust Administration, LLC v. Olson from April 2012. In this case the Federal Court upheld a State of North Dakota provision in its Medicaid rules which states that a person over the age of 65 who joins a pooled trust in North Dakota invokes an asset transfer penalty for Medicaid eligibility purposes. This is not the current situation here in Florida and in many other jurisdictions. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not been consistent on this issue, however, Florida has always maintained the position that it is an acceptable asset transfer and as of now Florida Medicaid applicants can still join and fund a Pooled Trust at any age, including over the age of 65, without incurring an asset transfer penalty. We are keeping a close eye on this issue and if the status changes we will be sure to spread the word. I a