POOF! And then they were gone

In September we blogged about a change in the POMS regarding no longer being able to reimburse family members for travel to visit a beneficiary.  This change incorporated two examples added to SI 01120.201 that stated that a Special Needs Trust document that states that the trust funds can be used to reimburse family members coming into town to visit a beneficiary would cause the trust to violate the sole-benefit rule (and thus, make the trust a countable resource). 

While this policy seemed a bit extreme, we could follow the logic.

Well, on December 18, 2012 the Social Security Administration published yet another change to the POM which removed the two previously added examples.  We are back where we started.  We still aren’t sure what this means.  Just because the examples were removed from the POM doesn’t necessarily mean that Social Security has had a change of heart; it could mean they didn’t think the clarification was necessary.

We certainly will put this into the discussion with Eric Skidmore from the Social Security Administration at the Academy of Special Needs Planners annual program in Austin, Texas in March 2013.  Check back for updates, or feel free to contact our office.



Travis D. Finchum
Florida Bar Certified Elder Law attorney

Co-Trustee, Guardian Trust

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