How Can the Child Receive Support and Get Needed Government Benefits?
Divorce is almost always a stressful and difficult situation. When the couple has a child with a disability, divorce can be even more problematic; especially, if the child is an adult child and will require continuing support for life.
If the parents contribute child support for the care of the child, the child support payments can prevent the child from obtaining needed government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. However, if the parents do not pay child support, it is safe to say that the government benefits provided will not cover all needs of the child. Instead, a disabled child needs access to both sources of support, child support and government benefits.
The good news is that the child can have access to both sources of support if a special needs trust is used to receive and hold the child support payments. This type of trust is a very specialized and technical form of trust. However, if created properly, federal and state law allow that the money placed into the trust will not be counted against the child’s financial eligibility requirements to receive government benefits.
Using the trust allows the parents to contribute to the additional needs that their child has without losing valuable government benefits that can help their child. Remember, the trust used to hold child support should not be the trust that you name in your estate plan to hold any assets you leave for your child. If you are in this situation, talk to your divorce attorney and ask him or her to bring in a trust attorney that can help with the support and estate planning aspects of this unique situation.
And contact Alabama Family Trust for more information about special needs trusts.