If the individual is eligible for government assistance or benefits (either now or in the future), you should determine whether eligibility for programs is “need-based,” or based solely on the person’s disability. To be eligible for need-based programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, the disabled’s assets will be evaluated. For example, SSI applicants cannot have more than $2,000 in assets to be eligible.
If the disabled directly inherits more than the asset limit, government assistance will be interrupted. However, if a Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust is established, money can be made available for the beneficiary, but since it is not under the beneficiary’s control, it is not counted as the beneficiary’s personal assets, therefore any government assistance continues uninterrupted.