Bernetich, Hatzell, & Pascu, LLC.

Self-Settled Special Needs Trust

A self-settled special needs trust, often referred to as a d4A Trust, is a trust created by the beneficiary, or on behalf of the beneficiary, with the beneficiary’s own assets in order to qualify for Medicaid and SSI and still satisfy other needs which are not covered by those programs. Both Medicaid and SSI are needs based benefits. An individual will not qualify if he has too much assets. Generally, if the beneficiary gives away assets, those gifts are considered in determining qualification for needs based benefits. Transferring assets to a special needs trust properly drafted to conform to federal and state law is an exception to that rule. Assets remaining in the trust at the beneficiary’s death must be used first to reimburse the state for benefits received during life and then distributed as directed by the beneficiary.