SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST & ABLE ACCOUNTS
Trillium has been addressing healthy opportunities in our communities for years. We focus on employment, community inclusion, housing and more through work with other local agencies around Eastern North Carolina. We continue to implement innovative projects to help increase member engagement related to social determinants of health: factors beyond the physical aspects that contribute to overall health.
The Future Planning project provides education and financial assistance to set up accounts to support members after the death of a primary caregiver, and/or assist members with saving money for their future through special types of accounts.
- What is a Special Needs Trust?
A type of trust specifically for persons with disabilities that provides goods and services while maintaining the eligibility or current level of needs-based public benefits.
- What is an ABLE account?
A tax-advantaged savings account for individuals with disabilities and their families.
By collaborating with our contracted attorneys in the Trillium catchment area, we secure the slot for a consultation and information session. During the consultation, families will learn about the differences between Special Needs Trusts and NC ABLE Accounts. The attorneys we work with are knowledgeable about these accounts and all areas of estate planning. They can help guide families toward a plan that will work to best fit their specific situation.
Trillium will pay attorney fees for the consultation and completion of the Special Needs Trust (SNT) or NC ABLE account drafts. In addition to setting up an SNT/ABLE account, some families may decide to align other assets and pursue additional estate planning services with the attorney. They may do so independently with the attorney at their own discretion.
At the Future Planning consultation, attorneys will:
- Assist families with drafting and setting up Special Needs Trusts and/or ABLE accounts.
- Work with families of members with Intellectual/ Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) and/or mental health conditions that require long-term care, and who are receiving services managed by Trillium.
- Offer services including education about and/or completion of a Special Needs Trust or NC ABLE account at no cost to members and their families/guardians.
Future Planning can assist members in other situations to include:
- Members who have a settlement as a result of an accident/personal injury.
- Members who receive an asset or inheritance through a family member.
- Members who are a beneficiary of a will that was not prepared through a trust.
- Members who receive unplanned gifts upon the passing of a family member or natural support.
- Members who are working and want to save for the future.
It is critical to plan ahead regarding estate planning. Without the correct financial planning, a loved one could be subject to repayment of Medicaid benefits that will count against them in qualifying for future Medicaid and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits. They could also potentially lose government benefits such as Food Stamps/SNAP or Section 8 housing.
To be eligible for Future Planning financial assistance, members must meet the following conditions:
- be three years of age or older;
- have an Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) and/or mental health condition that requires long term care/support;
- complete the necessary application (linked below)
Members can apply for financial assistance using the Future Planning Application or requesting an application to be mailed to them by contacting Trillium at 1-866-998-2597. Members can also contact FuturePlanning@TrilliumNC.org to ask additional questions.
Resources and more information:
- NC ABLE
- An Introduction to ABLE Accounts
- Special Needs Answers
- NC ABLE Lunch & Learn Webinar
- Students on SSI May Be Able to Earn Extra Income Without a Benefit Reduction
NC ABLE Accounts Allow People with Disabilities to Save & KEEP Benefits
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