Long –Term Planning for the Disabled
Case managers often provide assistance with maintaining benefits. This is critical because they need medical insurance to obtain vital services such as medications and regular physical evaluations. They also need their medical insurance to keep housing and other support services like transportation, day support, etc. These services are primarily funded through Medicaid, which has some restrictions on personal assets in order to keep coverage.
It’s important to monitor funds to make sure that they stay below the threshold to maintain coverage. In most cases, the bank account limit is around $2,000.00. This is usually monitored by a family member or a designated payee. Case managers rarely handle a client’s person finances and probably shouldn’t due to the high liability involved. The best option is to refer them to an agency that specializes in payee services or suggest a trusted family member be assigned this role.
Long –term planning is often an area that is neglected when it comes to individuals with special
needs. We often don’t think about it until benefits are lost due to poor planning or unexpected events such as death, inheritance, or a financial settlement. Here are just a few options available for the disabled.
ABLE accounts are basically savings accounts for the disabled that do not impact eligibility for benefits such as Medicaid, SSI, and SNAP (Food Stamps). ABLE accounts are not available in all states. However, you can establish an account out of state and still utilize the benefits. For more information on ABLE accounts check out:
Special Needs Trusts
Special needs trusts are another way to avoid losing benefits. Receiving an inheritance or any kind or cash settlement can disqualify individuals with disabilities from maintaining Medicaid and SSI benefits. Special needs trusts allow inherited funds to be left to the trust instead of directly to the individual. This protects the individual from having too many assets. For more information on special needs trusts check out the following links:
Microboards are another way to provide long term planning for the disabled. A Microboard is essentially a group of people dedicated to the care and service coordination of an individual with a disability. Microboard members can consist of professionals, family members and any other individuals who has a vested interest in the person being served. Microboards are like a personal “board of directors” dedicated to advocating and ensuring the individual’s welling being. For more information on Microboards check out VirginiaMicroboards.org.