A special needs trust is established to prevent people from losing benefits from certain government programs after receiving a settlement. An influx of wealth can make one ineligible for benefits from Supplementary Security Income (SSI), Veterans Aid and Attendance, Medicaid, and government housing. A special needs trust supplements but does not replace, these benefits by paying for non-covered services or equipment. Below are the applicable laws to establishing a special needs trust in Minnesota.
U.S. Code Section 1396p.(d)(4)(A).
(4) This subsection shall not apply to any of the following trusts:
(A) A trust containing the assets of an individual under age 65 who is disabled (as defined in section 1382c(a)(3) of this title) and which is established for the benefit of such individual by the individual, a parent, grandparent, legal guardian of the individual, or a court if the State will receive all amounts remaining in the trust upon the death of such individual up to an amount equal to the total medical assistance paid on behalf of the individual under a State plan under this subchapter. Full text
Minn. Stat. § 501C.1205 TRUST PROVISIONS LINKED TO PUBLIC ASSISTANCE ELIGIBILITY; SUPPLEMENTAL NEEDS TRUSTS. Subd. 2. Supplemental trusts for persons with disabilities.
(d) The general purpose of a supplemental needs trust must be to provide for the reasonable living expenses and other basic needs of a person with a disability when benefits from publicly funded benefit programs are not sufficient to provide adequately for those needs. Subject to the restrictions contained in this paragraph, a supplemental needs trust may authorize distributions to provide for all or any portion of the reasonable living expenses of the beneficiary. A supplemental needs trust may allow or require distributions only in ways and for purposes that supplement or complement the benefits available under medical assistance, Minnesota supplemental aid, and other publicly funded benefit programs for disabled persons. A supplemental needs trust must contain provisions that prohibit disbursements that would have the effect of replacing, reducing, or substituting for publicly funded benefits otherwise available to the beneficiary or rendering the beneficiary ineligible for publicly funded benefits.
(f) The trust income and assets of a supplemental needs trust are considered available to the beneficiary for medical assistance purposes to the extent they are considered available to the beneficiary under medical assistance, Supplemental Security Income, or Minnesota family investment program methodology, whichever is used to determine the beneficiary’s eligibility for medical assistance. For other public assistance programs established or administered under state law, assets and income will be considered available to the beneficiary in accordance with the methodology applicable to the program.