Excluded Resources are assets that are not included or counted when the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines a beneficiary’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Keep in mind, a beneficiary’s individual assets cannot exceed the $2,000 limit $3,000 for a couples. With exempt resources, some items or assets are allowed to be possessed by the beneficiary without being counted in the $2,000 asset limit.
In-Kind Support and Maintenance is also referred to as ISM. The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines in-kind support and maintenance as “food or shelter that someone else provides for you (trust beneficiary).” The SSA counts in-kind support and maintenance as income when they are determining the amount of supplemental security income (SSI) benefits payment.
Keeping an accurate record of which items, goods, or services were paid on behalf of a beneficiary is one of many responsibilities a trustee has when administering a Special Needs Trust. In the event of an audit from the Social Security Administration (SSA), the trustee (CPT), would have to adequately provide necessary documents to ensure that the reimbursement was in fact for the sole benefit of the beneficiary and was for the specific item, good, or service that is to be reimbursed.
When establishing a Special Needs Trust, it is vital to know what government/public benefits an individual is receiving. It is extremely important for the trustee to know what benefits a beneficiary is receiving due to the sole responsibility of ensuring that the specific benefits being utilized are not jeopardized.
Throughout my eighteen years working with Special Needs Trusts and beneficiaries, the most common request I receive from beneficiaries is, “How come I (beneficiary) cannot get cash or funds for myself, it’s my money.”
Medicare is an insurance program. Medical bills are paid from trust funds which those covered have paid into. It serves people over 65 primarily, whatever their income; and serves younger disabled people and dialysis patients. Patients pay part of costs through deductibles for hospital and other costs. Small monthly premiums are required for non-hospital coverage. Medicare is a federal program. It is basically the same everywhere in the United States and is run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency of the federal government.
When qualifying and establishing an appropriate Special Needs Trust there are certain words or verbiage that may seem a bit confusing or unclear. To lessen the confusion and increase a better understanding of specific terms we have created a list of relevant terms with appropriate definitions related to the Pooled Special Needs Trusts.
William E. Lindahl, MBA, CLPF