Can an injured party living in Washington State still be eligible for Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits while receiving structured settlement payments?
Federal law permits the use of first party Individual or Pooled Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) to hold assets (such as structured settlements) of injured parties under age 65 while preserving their needs-based public benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
“A plaintiff who, for example, is seriously injured may be eligible for Medicaid and/or SSI, they receive a litigation recovery, they will lose benefits until the litigation recovery is spent below $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple (the resource limits for Medicaid).”
However an injured party can combine a Pooled SNT with structured settlement assets to preserve government benefits while receiving income for nonmedical needs. A Pooled SNTs is a state approved master trust that is established and managed by a charity. Because they are created through a nonprofit entity, support a “pool” of individuals, not a single individual, and the settlement money remains in the trust and is not owned by the plaintiff until distributed, the income from these trusts is not counted against needs-based public benefits.
When the trust is terminated and the state lien has been paid, the remainder passes to heirs just as it would with an individual SNT. There is no minimum funding requirement and the trust documents are provided to Plaintiff firm within three business days.
Currently, the CPT Special Needs trust program of Washington State offers an automated prompt solution to provide plaintiffs’ protection of their settlement recovery from both Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Contact us to learn more.
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