Pooled Special Needs Trust

A Pooled Special Needs Trust holds the funds of a Respondent who is over 65 years old in a pool with other respondents.A Pooled Special Needs Trust is a specifically designed trust to hold the funds of a Respondent who is over 65 years of age in a pool with other Respondents. This vehicle exempts these funds from being considered an available resource for the Respondent's support or nursing home payments. Pooled Special Needs Trusts are permitted under the rules of Social Security and Medicaid. This financial tool will protect the resources of the Respondent to be used for supplemental needs at the same time that it allows the Respondent to participate in public benefits. 

Pooled Special Needs Trusts are set up with the personal funds of a Respondent exclusively and are managed by a nonprofit organization with expertise in special needs trust management. With expertise in the administration of a Pooled Special Needs Trust, the nonprofit will combine the assets of numerous individuals and invest these funds.  Funds for an individual can be spent in proportion to their share of the total amount in the Pooled Special Needs Trust. The types of needs that can be addressed by an expenditure from these funds are defined as supplementary, those needs that go beyond food, shelter, clothing, medical and long-term supports and services of Medicaid.

Funds that are disbursed from a Pooled Special Needs Trust may not go directly to the disabled beneficiary. These must be payments to third parties providing goods and services to the disabled individual. These funds allow Special Needs Trust beneficiaries to meet their supplemental needs without jeopardizing their eligibility for public benefits. The Pooled Special Needs Trust must provide that Medicaid is reimbursed from any remaining funds when the trust is terminated, up to the amount Medicaid has paid on behalf of the Respondent.

You will want to confer with an attorney to see if your Respondent can benefit from participation in a Pooled Special Needs Trust. If this option is determined to be an appropriate option, this can be created by the Court, the Guardian of the disabled individual, a family member or the disabled individual. Pooled Special Needs Trusts vary in their fees, operational rules and contractual agreements. You can expect that these organizations have expertise in understanding the rules of Social Security and Medicaid regarding income and eligibility. Often the trust directors are individuals who have personal experience with a loved one participating in a Pooled Special Needs Trust. By participating in a Pooled Special Needs Trust, the funds of an individual enjoy the benefits of professional management expertise and investment skill.

Maximizing the rights of a disabled person to tap into the many resources available to the disability community is important and participating in a Pooled Special Needs Trust is an essential component to provide security over time. The Kentucky Guardianship Association (KGA) is a non-profit membership organization committed to improving adult guardianship in Kentucky and manages a Pooled Special Needs Trust. Visit our website at www.kyguardianship.org and watch our video with its easy-to-understand overview of Kentucky guardian law  Protecting the quality of life of your loved one involves many factors and KGA is a great resource for information on guardianship, including Pooled Special Needs Trusts. It is easier to navigate creating a Pooled Special Needs Trust when you partner with the experts at Kentucky Guardianship Association.