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Trusts for Washington, DC, residents with special needs

Many disabled adults in the Washington, DC, area are provided certain public benefits such as Section 8 housing, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Even though these benefits are immensely helpful, they ordinarily do not cover more than the minimum living requirements of the individual. Supplemental needs trusts can provide additional resources to enhance the quality of a disabled person's life.

A trust is needed because, in order to receive public benefits, an individual's assets cannot exceed a certain amount -- ordinarily $2,000. The simple solution is to somehow make additional assets and funds available without them actually being owned by the person in need of them. A supplemental needs trust serves that purpose.

Items not paid for by public assistance, such as personal items or services, entertainment and vacations, can be funded by the trust. Other items that make it easier to get around, such as a vehicle and home that accommodate the physical limitations of the individual, can greatly increase the enjoyment of his or her life. It is not enough for a disabled adult to simply exist.  He or she should be able to have as full a life as his or her disability allows.

Putting together a supplemental needs trust often requires the assistance of an attorney to ensure that it meets all legal requirements. If not properly drafted and executed, these trusts can jeopardize the receipt of public benefits for a disabled Washington, DC, resident. More information on supplemental needs trusts and other concerns is available on our website.

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