Preservation of Government Benefits when Planning a Settlement

Preservation of Government Benefits when Planning a Settlement

A large cash settlement can prove to be a terminal disruption to your client’s eligibility for any existing government benefits, as well as to their eligibility for any governmental aid they may need in the future. The benefits most at risk of being lost include means-tested government benefits programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), federally-assisted housing, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Our settlement planners are well-versed in how to best structure the payout of awarded settlements to ensure continuity and preservation of government benefits. This is of critical importance in a scenario where a now-disabled individual receives a personal injury case settlement. In this scenario, the wealth gained from the settlement would likely make them ineligible for government aid of any kind. Furthermore, the settlement earnings may not be enough to support the individual’s medical care needs. In this case, Milestone Consulting’s settlement planners might make use of something known as a special needs trust (SNT), which would grant your client steady access to their settlement while preserving their government benefits eligibility.

Not every case will require an SNT; your client will have various other settlement options at their disposal to ensure the full and proper preservation of their government benefits. Speaking to expert settlement planners—such as those at Milestone Consulting—prior to concluding litigation is imperative. You’ll need to decide on a plan of action for the settlement before it has been collected; should you improperly administer the settlement plan, your client may lose access to all government benefits.

At Milestone Consulting, we do our due diligence to ensure that we meet the immediate and future needs of each client after the settlement has been reached. Once we have thoroughly determined what those needs are and what future needs the client may have, we finally move forward with formulating an appropriate settlement plan that will preserve their government benefits.