Administering a Special Needs Trust in New Jersey

Understanding the Requirements Imposed by Law for the Administration of a Special Needs Trusts

How often have we heard “It’s all in the details.”?  A properly drafted special needs trust when administered correctly will preserve and protect public benefits and will not be considered a disqualifying resource or income source.  To receive this special exemption, however, the trust must meet certain statutory requirements and pass review by a state agency and the Social Security Administration who jointly are responsible for the regulation and approval of a beneficiary’s public assistance program(s).

The Importance of Proper Administration of a SNT in New Jersey

While special needs trusts in New Jersey are conceptually simple, the administration of this type of trust can become very, very complex.

Administration of a Special Needs Trust becomes complex because the rules that regulate each government assistance program are complex and change with time.  Every special needs trust must be administered to the specific rules of the beneficiary’s government benefit(s) programs.  (Medicaid vs. Section 8 vs. DDD vs. SSI vs. Pharmaceutical Assistance, vs. CCW, etc.)

While a distribution from a SNT may not violate a person’s program requirements, it may still be considered a violation of NJ Medicaid regulations, and it can cause a gap in services.  Despite this potential complexity, a  properly drafted and administered special needs trust can be flexible and adapted to meet program requirements even as those requirements may change over time.

Let us help you navigate the maze of special needs trust administration.  At Hanlon Niemann & Wright, we have developed a comprehensive system to assist trustees in their administration of a SNT to avoid program disqualification and penalties

Please call my office today and ask for me to personally discuss your New Jersey Special Needs Trust, toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at