Special Needs Planning

An ABLE Account is a special bank account that enables certain people with disabilities to save more money than they would otherwise be able to, in tax advantaged savings accounts -- while continuing to receive benefits from Medicaid, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI), or housing assistance....

A special needs or supplemental needs trust (SNT) receives and holds assets for the exclusive benefit of a person who is disabled. The key feature of the SNT is that it is not considered a reachable or countable asset of the disabled beneficiary for the purposes of qualifying for means-tested government programs. Specifically, a SNT does not jeopardize its beneficiary’s  eligibility to receive public benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Medicaid....

When a person applies for Medicaid, the New Jersey Family Care Eligibility Determining Agency (EDA) verifies the information. The EDA examines each transfer made by a Medicaid applicant within a five-year “look-back period.” If an applicant violates this rule and is found to have gifted or sold an asset for less than fair market value, the agency will impose a penalty period (“a period of Medicaid ineligibility”)....