In New Jersey, many residents rely on government benefits for financial assistance. However, in order to qualify for government benefits, there is an income and asset limit. Utilizing a special needs trust may allow a person to qualify for government benefits without leaving them impoverished. A special needs trust may be executed by a person prior to becoming disabled, or by a qualifying family member on a person’s behalf after they have become disabled or otherwise qualified for government benefits. Utilizing a special needs trust may allow a person to qualify for government benefits without leaving them impoverished. A special needs trust may be executed by a person prior to becoming disabled, or by a qualifying family member on a person’s behalf after they have become disabled or otherwise qualified for government benefits.
An alternative option is to execute an ABLE account, which gives people the ability to supplement benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in order to maintain his or her lifestyle. The funds in an ABLE account do not affect Medicaid, SSI, SSDI, or other government benefits.
In order to be eligible for an ABLE account, a person must have become disabled prior to 26 years of age. Proving disability may include some or all of the following circumstances:
- He or she receives SSI or SSDI;
- He or she is blind;
- He or she has a disability listed in the Social Security Administration’s List of Compassionate Allowances Conditions; and/or
- He or she is clinically diagnosed with a mental or physical impairment that causes severe limitations.
As of January 2018, the maximum annual contribution is $15,000 with a maximum account amount of $100,000.
If you or a loved one has a disability or is seeking to plan for the event of a disability, an experienced elder law attorney can assist in determining whether a special needs trust or an ABLE account is an appropriate way to supplement governmental benefits. The experienced elder law and estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones, & Sweeney help seniors and their families handle all aspects of New Jersey Medicaid planning. Our New Jersey Medicaid planning lawyers can answer your questions about planning for Medicaid, and assist you along the way. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our New Jersey Medicaid planning lawyers at (973) 256-0456.