Effective December 31, 2016, there has been a significant change in the federal law regarding the establishment of Special Needs Trusts. The 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law on December 13, 2016. Previously, the law only allowed a parent, grandparent, legal guardian or a court to establish a Special Needs Trust, but Section 1917 (d)(4) (A) which was revised will now allow a disabled individual to establish his or her own Special Needs Trust. This will significantly reduce the time, money and effort in having to obtain court approval to establish a Special Needs Trust.
!!!VETERAN'S ADMINISTRATION ALERT!!!
The Veterans Administration (VA) has published a proposal that will significantly change eligibility rules for veterans' and or their spouses. The VA now anticipates that the final rule changes will be published after April 2017. Therefore, it is important that all veterans and their spouses, who anticipate that they will be applying for VA Benefits now or in the future, should consult with an accredited VA Attorney as soon as possible. These rules include:
Establishing a clear net worth limit
Three year (36 month) look back period
Defining and clarifying deductible medical expenses
Any assistance received due to a catastrophe or major disaster having been declared by the President of the United States, is permanently excluded as a resource for Medicaid. Funds must be identifiable as disaster funds. The FEMA Program's money due to the flood victims is considered disaster assistance, and any interest earned is excluded as an income resource.