3333 S. Bannock Street, Suite 900, Englewood, CO  80110



 Protecting The Rights of the Elderly and Disabled is, and always will be, the Highest Priority at Solem, Mack & Steinhoff, P.C.


Trust Distribution Strategies To Maintain Public Benefits




A trustee must be extremely careful with respect to Trust distributions. Your job may be easier if you comply with the following general rules:

Overview of SSI & Medicaid
Trust Distribution: General Rules
Specific Distribution Examples
Fiduciary Obligations & Reporting

1. The Trust should never distribute cash to a recipient. As indicated above, if you distribute any cash to a recipient, the SSI benefits will be reduced by an equivalent amount and the recipient will be no better off than if he/she had not received any funds. This is true regardless of whether the funds are used for food and shelter, or for supplemental, non-support needs.

2. Do not use funds from the Trust to purchase food or shelter for the recipient. These items will constitute "in-kind" income and would most likely result in a one-third reduction of the SSI grant. Normally, you won't want to do this. The recipient needs to use the SSI benefits for such items, and use distributions from the Trust for "non-necessities." In an emergency, you may use trust distributions for food and shelter, but be aware of the consequences.

3. Any distributions from the Trust should be made directly to the supplier of the goods and services. This is necessary because, as indicated under rule #1 above, you cannot give cash for goods and services, regardless of whether it will ultimately be used for non-support items.

4. Distributions related to medical needs which are not already provided by Medicaid or other public benefit programs will always be exempt from consideration as income under the SSI program and most other public programs. As a result, the purchase of any good or medical service not already available through Medicaid or another public benefit program that can be justified by a medical authority's order will not cause a reduction in SSI benefit levels. The term "medical authority" is broadly interpreted and includes in addition to medical doctors, many other health care providers, such as podiatrists, chiropractors, physical therapists, and psychologists.

Next:  Specific Examples For Trust Distribution

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Solem, Mack & Steinhoff, P.C.
3333 S. Bannock Street, Suite 900, Englewood, CO

Applying For Medicaid

by Linda Moon

*All consultations are confidential.  Payment plans and credit cards are accepted.