Arlington Heritage Group, an INARF Associate member, shares advice on consumers’ stimulus money received in April 2020.
Consumers received their first stimulus check for $1,200 in April 2020 and were given 12-months before the money was counted as a resource. That 12-month grace period is about to expire. Medicaid and the Social Security Administration will soon be paying close attention to resource limits. Please be aware of this critical deadline and take this necessary time to plan ahead.
Now is the time to devise a strategy for your consumers' excess funds and safeguard their benefits. Alongside of the stimulus money is an additional buildup of funds in consumers’ checking accounts due to inactivity and immobility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The traditional solution to excess funds is to spend it down. Please DO NOT ENGAGE IN A WASTEFUL SPEND DOWN. There is a better way.
As a non-profit service provider, you can create a special needs pooled trust. Saving funds and planning for the future helps to enhance lives and improve outcomes for those in your care. This type of financial tool also establishes a way for providers to help any individual within their community, especially those with no resources. A provider-controlled pooled trust aligns with your mission and expands your charitable reach.
When a provider uses a special needs pooled trust, they no longer must engage in frivolous spend-downs to guarantee benefits. Such situations waste staff time and consumer funds. The great benefit helps individuals save money that can be used when needed for allowable distributions of both necessities and enrichments. With this solution you will preserve consumer funds for the future while maintaining government benefits, facilitate long-term planning and eliminate the need to frivolously spend down assets. Because of the inherent flexibility in a special needs pooled trust, it is superior to ABLE accounts in just about all aspects. We consider a provider-controlled pooled trust a best practice for improving the quality of life for those in your care.
Arlington Heritage Group can help you to quickly start a special needs pooled trust. We have a simple process of adoption, or what we call a “Trust In A Box” concept. The effort, time and capital expense of developing your own compliant special needs pooled trust is already done for you. Simply unpack the box and begin. We guide you every step of the way to create your agency’s trust. Once established, we support administration, compliance, record-keeping and training. This comes at no cost to the provider and a low cost to your consumers.
Now is the best time to put a new financial practice into place. Please call on us to help create your own special needs pooled trust. Arlington Heritage Group is a trust administrator and has been working exclusively with human service providers for over 30 years. Visit www.arlingtonheritagegroup.com or call Tom Tirney at 215-672-1184, ext. 1.