Reporting the Establishment of a Special Needs Trust
We are often asked when changes in financial circumstances must be reported. A change is defined as the establishment of a Trust when we are referring to a person receiving some sort of public benefit.
The answer depends on the program(s) the beneficiary is receiving and thus the agency to which to report. The only common thread is that YOU MUST REPORT.
For beneficiaries on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) the answer is found in POM SI 2301.005. For SSI recipients a report is due within 10 calendar days after the month in which the change occurred. A report by mail is timely when the postmark date is within the same 10-day period. Recipients and payees may report in writing, by telephone, or in person. They may use Form SSA-8150-EV (Reporting Events, SSI) to report in writing. The Change is reported to your local Social Security office.
For the Medicaid programs administered through the Department of Children and Families in Florida, the time to report is within 10 days of the change in circumstances. This time period, as well as the time periods for other programs (such as "only on re-certification" for the food assistance program), are explained on the Rights and Responsibilities form CF-ES 2064.
The form for reporting changes for most Florida Medicaid programs is CF-ES 3052A.
The form says to return to your local office by mail or fax, which can be found here.
Remember, we don't get to decide whether a Special Needs Trust is excluded as an asset. Such a decision is up to the governmental agency. The Trust must be disclosed. As always, feel free to reach out to us with your questions.
Travis D. Finchum
Board Certified Elder Law Attorney
Co-Trustee, Guardian Trusts