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 New Jersey.
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
New Jersey Law
N.J.A.C. 10:71-4.11 Trusts
(e) Treatment of trusts, for purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility, shall be dependent on the characteristics of the trust. The look-back period for evaluation of resource transfer shall be 60 months.
(g) The trust provisions shall not apply to the following trusts so long as the trust document meets all the requirements set forth in this chapter:
1. A special needs trust, that is, a trust containing the assets of a disabled individual and which is established prior to the time the disabled individual reaches the age of 65 and which is established for the sole benefit of the disabled individual by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian of the disabled individual or a
court, may be excluded from the rules regarding the treatment of a trust. To qualify for the exclusion, the trust shall contain the following provisions:
i. The trust shall be identified as an OBRA ‘93 trust established pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(d)(4)(A).
(1) The trust shall not contain any provisions intended to give anyone or a court the power to alter the form of the trust from an individual trust to a “pooled trust” under 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(d)(4)(C). Notwithstanding amendments to the trust solely to conform to the requirements of this subsection and/or 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(d)(4), there shall be no provisions permitting the trust to be altered for any other reasons.