By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a New Jersey Special Needs Trust Attorney
Check the distribution standard in the trust
If the beneficiary of your special needs trust is on SSI and/or Medicaid, does the distribution standard written in the trust allow the trustee to make distributions which will cause a reduction in government benefits? If the trust distribution standard does not allow the trustee to make distributions which will reduce SSI benefits, then as the trustee you cannot make any distributions for in-kind support and maintenance, which includes food, rent, room, mortgage, property taxes, insurance, electricity, heating fuel, gas, water, garbage collection, and sewer charges. Having the ability to pay some of these expenses as in-kind support and maintenance can make a huge difference to a beneficiary, so consider whether the trust should be modified to authorize distributions that reduce the SSI benefits.
Remember Section 8 housing benefits. If a trustee pays a bill of the trust beneficiary regularly, then the public housing authority may count as income and adjust the monthly rent.
Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey special needs trust matter. I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns. You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org/.