Planning ahead financially for a family member with special needs can be difficult. As an adult with special needs, if you have more than $2,000 in savings, you can potentially lose out on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and Medicaid. We know this is not a lot of money, so let us share some ways you can save for your disabled loved one while protecting their future eligibility for benefits.
Set up an ABLE Account
One of the best areas to start is with an ABLE Account. ABLE accounts are modeled after 529 College Savings Plans. As long as the individual became blind or disabled before their 26th birthday, you can save up to $14,000 per year and that money will not be used against the $2,000 asset limit for SSI or Medicaid benefits. It’s important to note that only a few states offer ABLE accounts, but some of them can be obtained nationally even if you aren’t local to that particular state.
ABLE account funds can be used for transportation, housing, healthcare expenses (that Medicaid or other insurance plans do not cover), and more. Exact features of these accounts do vary by state though, so if you would like to learn more about ABLE accounts, click here.
Community Parent Resource Center
Another great resource is the Community Parent Resource Center. Every state and US territory has a center that can help you understand your rights as a parent and connect with local resources that are available. The Center for Parent Information and Resources is full of webinars, articles and publications that offer everything from early intervention to law information.
Special Needs Trust Fund
Finally, a special needs trust can be another helpful way to assist your special needs loved one in the future. The key to establishing a trust for your child or loved one is to make sure that it doesn’t limit government benefits in the future. That is why it is so important to speak with a professional in regards to drawing up the legal documents needed.
To learn more about what is available to you here in Florida, please contact our office today for your complimentary consultation.