People with Special Needs

Serving Families and Individuals in Thousand Oaks and Conejo Valley, CA


Children, young adults, family members, and older people may be entitled to public benefits from different sources as a consequence of their particular situation.

Applying for the Benefits

  • Determine if you or a loved one qualify for the benefit.
  • If so, you can make application.
  • If not, can you position yourself, your assets or income to qualify?
  • Applications should be completed with care as one improper answer could disqualify you.

Protecting the Benefits

  • Once you qualify for a benefit you may have to continue to demonstrate that you are entitled to receive the benefit.
  • Positioning and continued positioning of income and assets may be necessary to preserve the benefit.
  • If your benefit is based on your assets and income, a direct inheritance of assets could immediately disqualify you, forcing you to spend these assets before you could become eligible again. To pass an inheritance to a person entitled to benefits without disqualifying them often requires the use of a Special Needs Trust.

Special Needs Trust

A Special Needs Trust basically acts as a holding pot for inherited assets where the assets can only be used for those needs of the beneficiary not otherwise covered by public benefits. Thus, the trust acts solely as a supplemental trust. The assets in this trust are not “owned” by the beneficiary, which allows the beneficiary to continue to be eligible for benefits.

A Special Needs Trust must be carefully drafted to properly protect the assets from various claims by the agencies that pay benefits.

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