If you are concerned that governmental benefits programs may not be able to fully support your child in the future, then you should consider a Special Needs Trust (often referred to as a Supplemental Needs Trust or SNT). When you create an SNT, you are designating funds to a trustee for the benefit of a person with a disability. This money is not considered as “available assets or resources” for the purpose of determining whether a person shall be eligible to receive governmental benefits, such as Medicaid or Social Security.
You, as a parent, grandparent, friend or relative can fund an SNT by creating a “Third Party Trust.” An SNT may also be established using the funds of the beneficiary with a disability (called a Self-Settled Trust).
SNT funds are intended to supplement – not replace – governmental benefits programs. They enhance the beneficiary’s quality of life through the purchase of additional support services, social and recreational opportunities, advocacy, guardianship and medical services and equipment that are not otherwise covered or adequately provided through state and federal benefit programs.