The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act (https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/2123) was introduced in the last Congress and was designed to allow individuals with disabilities to establish a Special Needs Trust for themselves so that they could transfer excess assets into the trust and preserve the assets while also remaining or becoming eligible for crucial benefits under programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and at least in NJ, programs administered by the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). The federal statute only allows a Special Needs Trust to be established by the disabled person’s parent or grandparent, or by their legal guardian (with court permission), or by a Court (on petition by the disabled person or other interested party). 42 USC 1396p(d)(4)(A). http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/1396p The bill would correct one inequity within the statute by allowing a person with disabilities to create their own Special Needs Trust. This would streamline the process for individuals who no longer have a parent or grandparent who can do this for them. Despite its bipartisan support in both houses, the bill didn’t pass the last Congress but has, thankfully, just been reintroduced.
The bill was introduced today as H.R. 670 by Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) . If you are interested in this issue, contact your State Senators and Representative.
For legal advice on the use, establishment, funding and spending from Special Needs Trusts, call us for an appointment … 732-382-6070