Legislation is pending in the Congress concerning the payment of a veteran’s survivor benefits. Under current law, a veteran’s survivor benefits which are payable to the veteran’s children must be paid directly to the beneficiary. If the beneficiary is disabled and is dependent upon other governmental benefits which are means-tested, this could cause the recipient to be disqualified from those programs. The pending legislation would allowing the veteran’s survivor benefits to be payable to a special needs trust for the disabled beneficiary. Special Needs Trusts (“SNTs”) are created under the authorization of 42 USC 1396p(d)4(a) and can be vital to preserve eligibility for SSI, Medicaid, and some state programs such as services of the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).
The provisions were included in the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 2410) in Section 625. https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2410
You can read the text of Section 625 by scrolling through this link which is the full text of the bill. https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2410/text This is a major defense authorization bill for Fiscal year 2015 that Congress must finish up in the next few weeks.
The NJ Supreme Court recently dealt with a similar issue concerning the State Firemen’s pension fund (see earlier post). If this issue is of concern to you, you may want to quickly contact your US Congress representative.