Showing posts from 2013

Guardian Trust supports YMCA of the Suncoast's MASH 5K

Saturday, December 14, 2013 was a beautiful morning to rally our team to support a great cause - the M.A.S.H. program. YMCA of the Suncoast's program Mainstream Adults Sharing Hope supports adults with various physical or cognitive disabilities. Meeting on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month, the participants share experiences through fun activities that help them develop in spirit, mind, and body.  Click here for program and contact information .  A few pictures from the event:

Attorneys: Running into a Road Block?

We all know that our government can make a mistake.  If you are an attorney who recommended one of our Special Needs Trusts and you get an adverse decision from the State (Department of Children and Families) or Social Security, it is imperative that you let us know immediately.  We all know that these agencies and their staff can make mistakes, and the sooner we get involved to help you, the better.  You must ask for the appropriate reconsideration within a particular time period or we may not be able to help you.  We have the research and supporting documentation for you to submit with your initial applications or during an appeal of a bad decision.  We will work with you but you have to get us involved immediately.  We are confident that our trusts work and follow the law, so let us help if you experience any problems.  These trusts have been our primary focus for over eleven years; count on our experience of having helped over a thousand individuals properly implement and benefit

We are Proud to Support the Guardian Scene Investigation – Senior Home Experience!

Guardian Trust is thrilled to support the Guardian Scene Investigation – Senior Home Experience (GSI-SHE) project. Guardian Scene Investigation – Senior Home Experience (GSI-SHE) is a hands-on exploration aimed at providing a concentrated “experience” to all kinds of people in the elder care and disabled support community, allowing others to learn about the types of information that can be important when assisting a new client. For more information about this educational and one-of-a-kind presentation, please visit the website . For more information about the first presentation location to be held in August, read more here .

Busy, busy summer!

This summer is a busy one!  We have a full calendar of conferences and speaking engagements all around Florida, and we hope to see you. Earlier this month we were at the Family Cafe in Orlando. We enjoy meeting all of the families and listening to the many knowledgeable speakers that present helpful information at the conference. Any opportunity that we have to speak with families about our third-party Special Needs Trust administration is always rewarding.  Next week we will be catching up with our professional guardians from all around Florida at the annual Florida State Guardian Association  conference in Palm Beach Gardens at the beautiful PGA Resort. We hope you will attend the Thursday dinner and dancing that is included in conference registration as we are sponsoring this FUN event. Stop by, say hello, and as always, let us know how we can best serve you!

Reimbursing a third party is no longer a problem for SSI beneficiaries

We have some good news for beneficiaries who are receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits!   We previously notified our clients that we would not be able to reimburse anyone who pays for "anything" for a person receiving SSI as it is considered as in-kind income (not In Kind Support and Maintenance) to the beneficiary. There has been a recent addition to the POMS, the Social Security Administration’s Manual, specifically stating that “reimbursements made from the trust to a third party for funds expended on behalf of the trust beneficiary are not income.”   This is good news as we now have an additional avenue for clients to access their funds.   Please reference Section SI 01120.200E of the POMS for more information. As a reminder, the additional ways that trust funds can be accessed is by sending in the bill or invoice to be paid directly, or, by making purchases on a credit card and submitting the credit card statement and receipts and we will pay th

My client is over the age of 64 - What do I need to know?

We posted twice in 2012 about being able to utilize a Pooled Special Needs Trust (SNT) in Florida for individuals ranging from newborns to centenarians.  Don't panic, we are not posting to tell you that something has changed; clients who are over the age of 64 are still able to utilize a Pooled SNT for Medicaid purposes. However, we need to also ask the question - are they receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? Lately we have received an influx of inquiries regarding individuals over age 64 who are looking to maintain their SSI income, as well as their Medicaid benefits. Unfortunately, Social Security penalizes individuals over age 64 who are receiving SSI if they fund a Pooled Trust.  The penalty is one month for every $710 put into the Pooled Trust, up to a maximum of 3 years. In many cases this is not an acceptable penalty and other strategies for sheltering the assets need to be explored, however, there are circumstances when it still makes sense

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 th