When you have a child with a disability, it is not always possible to predict how much assistance he or she will require in the future.  While individuals with some conditions such as severe Intellectual Disability will probably always need extensive support, others with a diagnosis such as Cerebral Palsy or Autism Spectrum Disorder may or may not have significant limitations.  One critical way to prepare for your child’s future is to create a special needs trust to help pay for additional expenses.  Here are some signs your child may need a California special needs trust:

Qualifying for Government Benefits

Parents of children with disabilities often have to become experts on navigating complicated public benefits programs. Establishing your child’s eligibility for California public benefits such as Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is usually essential.  If your child qualifies under these benefit programs, he or she will also need a special needs trust.  Although they will have medical coverage and a small amount of money each month, these benefits will not pay for any extra expenses.  A special needs trust can pay for things which improve your child’s quality of life, such as recreational activities, travel expenses, clothing, home furnishings, and entertainment.Not Being Able to Work

California special needs trusts are designed to help pay for expenses which the beneficiary’s primary resources cannot cover.  When someone is receiving Medi-Cal or SSI, they are not permitted to have more than a minimal amount of income.  If they earn or receive too much, their benefits may be reduced, or they could even be disqualified.  If you do not anticipate your child being able to work full-time or be self-supporting, he or she will probably need public benefits and a special needs trust.

You Plan to Leave Your Child Everything

When parents are planning for their estates, it is common for them to leave everything to their children.  However, leaving your assets to a child who is expected to rely on Medi-Cal and SSI into adulthood can create significant issues.   As explained above, when a recipient has too much income, their benefits can be endangered.  While directly inheriting from a parent can be problematic, when the bequests are appropriately directed to a special needs trust, they will not impact the beneficiary’s eligibility.

A special needs trust can be a vital asset for your child’s comfort and care.  At the Law Offices of Alice  A. Salvo, we have the California special needs trust experience you need to plan for your child’s financial needs today and in the future.  Please contact us online or by phone to start your solution. /