A: Generally speaking it takes about 3 to 4 business days. Request may be delayed or denied if they do not include correct or sufficient supporting documentation.
A: The form and attachments can either be faxed to 1-619-431-1997 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
A: Maybe, but your friend runs the risk that the request may be denied. We recommend that advocates discuss purchase plans prior to making the purchase and getting pre-approval.
A: It depends. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal and have a prescription, yes. If you travel to a state where it is legal and a third party pays for it, or you use your credit card, we can pay or reimburse. If it is illegal for you to possess it, we cannot pay for it or reimburse a third party.
A: Gambling can be a form of entertainment. If the gambling debt is legal, we may pay the debt. We cannot pay illegal gambling debts. We cannot fund a card or provide money for an account for the beneficiary to use to gamble.
A: Yes. The beneficiary must be able to pass the required background checks and must not have a condition that could pose a danger to themselves or others.
A: Yes. Alcohol may be considered as food for SSI purposes.
A: Yes. The trust can pay for a pet and pay any bills relating to the pet.
A: No. The trust can only pay mileage based upon the IRS tables. That mileage rate should cover gas and wear and tear on the vehicle.
A: No. Reimbursements to the beneficiary are the same as distributing cash to the beneficiary and will result in a dollar for dollar reduction in benefits.
A: We require that if the trust is paying the card, that the balance be paid off, except that amount which cannot be accounted.
A: Yes. All receipts must be submitted. Missing receipts will reduce the amount requested.
A: Probably not, but it depends on the beneficiary’s benefits. Repairing the boat may make the boat a countable asset and make the beneficiary ineligible for benefits.
A: Generally yes.
A: A disbursement request must be submitted for each payment, however advocates are permitted to submit request to prepay a bill for up to three months in advance.
A: The beneficiary must be able to qualify for a secured credit card. We can pay the security deposit, however the beneficiary/advocate must sign a promissory note and agree to return the security deposit to the trust.
A: Yes. We recommend getting approval before allowing any work to begin. Licensed contractors must provide all labor unless the beneficiary does the work.
A: Probably not. It would likely be considered a transfer of resources. There may be exceptions to the rule, especially if the renovations are to make the property more accessible. The extent of the renovations and length of lease are important to that determination.
A: Yes. We can only pay the beneficiary’s proportionate share of the housing expenses.
A: Yes, however if the beneficiary receives SSI, payment will reduce beneficiaries’ SSI benefit by a third of the federal benefit rate.
A: Rent, mortgage, electricity, gas, water, garbage, heating fuel, sewer, property taxes, and property insurance if required by mortgage.
A: No. Gifts are considered to be transfers of resources.
A: No. It is a transfer of resource.
A: The trust cannot distribute cash to a beneficiary. We suggest having the trust pay as many bills as possible for the beneficiary. This should free up the beneficiary’s SSI payment so that it can be used to make cash type purposes. A secured credit card is another option.
A: We can mail the check directly to the vendor or we can mail it care of the advocate if it is preferred.
A: Yes, however there is an additional fee to do so.
A: Yes, however there are limitations and restrictions. Please call to discuss prior to making arrangements.
A: Yes, the trust can pay a beneficiary’s expenses to take a vacation.
A: The trust can pay for airfare, hotel, food, souvenirs, rental car and other transportation.
A: The beneficiary will have to use a credit card or a third party will have to pay. The trust can pay off the credit card or reimburse the third party.
A: No. Distributions like this will result in a dollar for dollar reduction in the trust beneficiary’s SSI payment.
A: This is a very difficult problem. The Social Security Administration has voiced its opinion that paying for caregiver travel on vacation may lead to a violation of the sole benefit rule. You must document the medical need for the caregiver. Close family members may qualify, however SSA will give greater scrutiny. At this time, the trust cannot pay for parents to accompany their children. Documentation is extremely important when attempting to justify the expense of a trip. Please provide as much detail as possible. Insufficient detail will result in a delay in processing request. We may require a medical note regarding the need for assistance.
A: No, unless your friend or family member is also your caregiver.
A: The cost of the vacation; Percentage of trust use for vacation; Future needs of the beneficiary; Is the beneficiary able to appreciate the vacation?; Is vacation for the sole benefit of the beneficiary?
A: It depends. Every situation is different. We encourage advocates to submit plans for vacation request more than a month out. Insufficient details about the trip will lead to delays. The rules change all the time so please doesn’t assume we will approve the same trip we did last year.
A: We will probably not approve that request.
A: No. It will be considered to be a transfer of resources and the trust beneficiary may lose their benefits. The beneficiary will have to get a specific policy that covers non-driver owners.
A: No. The trust will put a lien on the vehicle for the value of the purchase.
Payment to Caregivers
A: Yes, but there are restrictions, they must be on payroll. Call to get our help with this.
A: The answer is NO caregivers are employees of the trust beneficiary and must be on payroll.
A: It is somewhat over simplified, but an independent contractor has control of when they work, how they work, where they work and generally have little supervision. A caregiver is generally an employee because they are paid to be at a location to provide care in a fairly specific manner and are supervised for their work.
A: Yes. Please discuss the particulars with us. All fees charged must be reasonable.
A: The trust does not have to withhold Medicare & Social Security taxes for independent contractors. The independent contractor is also responsible for paying the employer’s share of Medicare & Social Security taxes. Employers may be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
A: There are limited exceptions when payments may be paid to a caregiver on a temporary bases. There is no responsibility to report to the IRS if the employee/contractor is expected to earn less than $1,900. If the employee/contractor does end up being paid more, a 1099 will be issued and reported to the IRS.
Distributions From A Trust Of A Minor
“Parents have a duty to support their minor children in a manner consistent with the parent’s standard of living. Parents are generally expected to pay for their children’s food, clothing and shelter needs. Exceptions may be made if the parent’s income is not sufficient or if they are unable to earn a livable wage. Parents in these situations should apply for other government assistance prior to using their child’s trust to pay for basic support needs. While it is unfortunate, the sole benefit rule prevents trust funds from being used for the benefit of other family members. Please see the below questions and answers for further clarification.”
A: Generally no. It may be possible to petition the court for approval. Without court approval, the max that would be considered would be that child’s proportionate share. If four people live in the apartment, the trust could possibly pay for ¼ of the rent and other household expenses. If the child is receiving a cash benefit from Social Security, that benefit should be used to pay basic household expenses.
A: No. The trust may only pay for the trust beneficiary’s expense. A caregiver who is generally employed to care for the child may also be paid to attend. Paying a parent’s expenses may not be allowed. Transportation and lodging may be paid in a proportionate amount.
A: Generally yes. Each request is always evaluated on an individual basis so a plan should be submitted and approved prior to work being started or payment made.
A: It is possible, but it would likely require court approval. The parent must also show that using alternative methods of transportation would be more costly or unavailable.
CPT does not provide legal advice. Answers to these questions are generalized and because all cases are different and each state has different laws pertaining to trusts, these answers may not apply to your particular case. Please seek the advice of an attorney or contact us with questions pertaining to your individual case.