Keep Benefits After Settlement
Without proper guidance, your client can lose eligibility for means-tested government benefits like SSI and Medicaid. Milestone can provide guidance to help them remain under strict income thresholds while making the most of their settlement.
Strategies to Maintain Eligibility
The most advantageous settlement planning tools depend on a plaintiff’s unique situation. Below are three common strategies to preserve benefits.
Special Needs Trusts
A special needs trust helps keep an individual’s income under the limit for Medicaid and SSI eligibility. Money in this type of trust pays for non-countable resources. A personal injury settlement can fund a special needs trust and is administered by an appointed trustee.
Pooled special needs trusts are set up and operated by nonprofit organizations, making them a cost-effective solution for plaintiffs with smaller settlements. Money in a pooled special needs trust does not count toward an individual’s income because it pays for non-countable resources.
Under the ABLE Act, qualified individuals and/or their families can create a tax-advantaged account without impacting their eligibility for means-tested benefits. ABLE accounts pay for qualified disability expenses, such as housing, transportation, basic living needs, education, and more.
Help Your Client Avoid Disqualification
When a plaintiff’s settlement arrives, some of the benefits that could be at risk include:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Federally Assisted Housing
Expert settlement planning is needed to ensure a plaintiff can keep receiving benefits while still making the most out of settlement. Contact Milestone for expert guidance on trusts, spend downs, and other strategies for your clients.
Connect your client with the experts at Milestone to ensure they do not lose eligibility for their much-needed benefits.