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Do I Need a Special Needs Trust (SNT) to Apply for Disability Benefits?

If you are disabled and unable to work, you may be considering filing for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration or the Veterans Administration (if applicable). You may have also heard something about a Special Needs Trust (SNT), or a Supplemental Needs Trust. This trust can help provide for the needs of a disabled person without reducing other potential benefits. To learn more an SNT and disability benefits, speak with an experienced Orlando SSD lawyer.


At the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A., we have years of experience assisting Florida clients with all their disability benefits needs. We can help you file for Social Security Disability benefits as well as veterans’ disability. If you have questions on Special Needs Trusts, we can also help you determine whether this is the right solution for you.


What Is a Special Needs Trust?


An SNT is a legal arrangement where someone or a company, such as a financial institution, will manage assets for someone who has a physical or mental disability. The disabled person is known as the beneficiary, while the person or organization managing the assets is called the trustee. Numerous types of assets can be added to your SNT.


The benefit of an SNT is that a disabled person can have their needs met without the risk of reducing their need-based benefits such as housing assistance, SSI benefits, and more. Setting up an SNT is a complicated process. It’s not one you should attempt on your own. You should seek out experienced legal advice from a lawyer who understands these matters and can advise you on the best course of action. You do not want to risk handling this on your own, as it may not be legally valid when you want it to be.



Using an SNT for a Disabled Family Member


Special Needs Trusts aren’t just for disabled workers looking at options, but they are also a solution if you have a child who is disabled. Military members or retired service members may be nervous about choosing their adult disabled child as a beneficiary for their Survivor Benefits Plan (SBP) payments. This situation is where a Special Needs Trust can be helpful. A newer law allows you to contribute your SBP payments to a Special Needs Trust to address this very concern.


Your SNT would receive SBP annuity payments rather than being payable to your disabled dependent adult child. If the payments are made to multiple dependent children, the SNT will also be treated as a dependent child to determine what shares are payable to each child.


Does an SNT Affect SSI Payments?


Any money paid directly to providers for anything other than food or shelter won’t affect your SSI benefits. If you have money being paid directly to your shelter and food providers, your benefits will be reduced up to a certain amount. Any monies paid directly to you will also reduce your benefits from SSI.


Contact an Orlando Disability Benefits Lawyer


To learn more about SNTs and how they can affect your disability benefits, contact the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.

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