** This article has been revised from its original version which was published on February…
A pooled trust is established and managed by a not-for-profit organization along with a trust company acting as trustee. It permits individuals to protect their eligibility for public financial assistance, such as Community Medicaid (Home Care) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), while preserving their income and/or resources in trusts that can be used to pay for supplemental needs that are not covered by public assistance.
These trusts pool the assets of their numerous beneficiaries for investment and management purposes. However, a sub-account is created for each individual beneficiary.
During the lifetime of each beneficiary, his or her contributed funds are used for his or her sole benefit. The income placed in the pooled trust can be used to pay for the supplemental needs of the individual that are not covered by public assistance, such as:
- Living expenses, such as food, shelter, and clothing;
- Housing costs, such as rent, real estate taxes, and utilities;
- Supplemental nursing care; and
- Medical procedures and care that are not covered by government assistance.
Upon the death of the beneficiary, any of his or her contributed funds remaining in the pooled trust are paid to the not-for-profit organization to help foster its objectives.
Why should I participate in a pooled trust?
A pooled trust is a great vehicle to consider when applying for Community Medicaid (Home Care) so that you are able to remain in your home.
Under current Federal Law, the income of a Community Medicaid (Home Care) recipient will be counted against the recipient. Accordingly, the individual’s income will need to be spent down before Medicaid will cover any unpaid care provided at the individual’s home.
An individual can keep a certain amount of their income directly (in 2021 an individual can keep $884.00 of the individual’s monthly income) and the excess monthly income can be paid into the pooled trust. The pooled trust will use this income to pay for the individual’s housing and living expenses instead of for the individual’s home care services. Accordingly, a pooled income trust can preserve an individual’s income and still allow the individual to qualify for governmental benefits.
A pooled income trust can have a tremendous impact on your loved one’s quality of life while he or she requires home care services. There is comfort in knowing that your loved one is able to remain in their own home and receive the care that he or she needs instead of forcing your loved one to move into a nursing home.
To learn more about the advantages of a pooled trust, be sure to contact an experienced elder and estate planning attorney. Here at the Russo Law Group, we are happy to discuss your needs with you and provide much-needed peace of mind for the future.