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Showing posts from January, 2014

Guardian Pooled Trust can be utilized as a Advocacy Fund

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As Statewide Medicaid Managed Care rolls out we will be seeing lots of changes.  For most elder law attorneys this will result an increasing number of follow-up calls for assistance when clients are navigating through these changes.  We all want to be able to continue to help our clients and their families when the phone calls begin, but we must be able to be compensated for our time advocating for clients when their benefits may be cut-off or reduced.  Our Pooled Trust is a great tool to house an "Advocacy Fund" to be able to re-engage good legal representation to protect the rights of a beneficiary.  Funds can be used to engage the Foundation for Long Term Care Solutions in order to understand legal rights and options.  So many other Medicaid planning strategies separate the money from the Medicaid applicant and make funds inaccessible.  The Pooled Trust is the opposite; it keeps funds close to the beneficiary to be used directly for his or her benefit, including advocacy.…

My client no longer needs Medicaid or SSI, so can they terminate their trust?

We are frequently asked “What happens with my Pooled Trust Account if I no longer need SSI or Medicaid?”  First we would say “Congratulations!” You are now in situation where you don’t have to worry about the strict limitations Social Security places on you or the limited services Medicaid provides to you.  However, we cannot just terminate the Pooled Trust Account and give a beneficiary the remaining balance.  Federal policy is very clear that if the Pooled Trust Account is terminated during the lifetime of the beneficiary, the State Medicaid lien(s) MUST BE PAID BACK IN FULL before a beneficiary can get his or her money back.  See the POMS on Early Termination at SI 01120.199.  Therefore, the account continues.  However, now we have more flexibility in the administration.  If the beneficiary is no longer receiving SSI then we do not have “in-kind support and maintenance” concerns or income limits for the beneficiary.  If the beneficiary is no longer eligible for Medicaid we can tre…