A special needs trust, also known as a supplemental needs trust, is a legal tool that can help individuals with disabilities and special needs receive financial assistance without impacting their eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The purpose of a special needs trust is to provide financial resources that can be used to supplement, rather than replace, the government benefits that the beneficiary is receiving. The funds in a special needs trust can be used to pay for a wide range of expenses that are not covered by government benefits, such as medical care, education, housing, transportation, and other needs.

There are two main types of special needs trusts: first-party and third-party trusts. A first-party special needs trust is funded with the assets of the person with a disability, such as a settlement or inheritance. A third-party special needs trust is funded with assets that belong to someone else, such as a family member, who wants to provide for the person with a disability.

Setting up a special needs trust requires careful planning and the assistance of an experienced attorney who can help ensure that the trust is structured correctly and complies with all legal requirements. The attorney can also help ensure that the trust is properly administered and that the beneficiary’s needs are met. A special needs trust can provide peace of mind for families and caregivers, knowing that their loved one’s future financial needs will be taken care of without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits.