Thought for the Day” #1261 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

June 20, 2019

For those with special needs, as discussed yesterday a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiary who is working may deduct from his or her monthly earned income figure any impairment-related work expenses like specialized transportation costs and durable medical equipment required for his or her job. It does not matter if the beneficiary also needs those …

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Thought for the Day” #1260 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

June 18, 2019

To determine your Social Security eligibility and estimated benefits, you can find out how many quarters of coverage you have accumulated and what your estimated benefit will be at the time of retirement by requesting Social Security Statement SSA-7004 (formerly known as the Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement) from the Social Security Administration (SSA). …

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Thought for the Day” #1259 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

June 17, 2019

Because the Social Security disability application process can take months, the Social Security Administration awards successful applicants back payments that they would have received in the months between the date an application for benefits was filed and a final determination is made. In addition to back payments, Social Security Disability (but not Supplemental Security Income) …

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Thought for the Day” #1258 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

June 13, 2019

The first thing that should be considered in long-term care-related asset protection is the preservation of those assets that are already exempt due to the existence of facts and circumstances favorable to the Medicaid applicant couple or individual. For example, current law exempts (allows for the exclusion of) the primary residence of a Medicaid applicant …

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Thought for the Day” #1257 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

June 12, 2019

Elder abuse continues to proliferate. Cases where seniors fall victim to lottery and other scams exceeding hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses are not uncommon. While law enforcement and courts continue to address the issue, family members and friends, agents under financial powers of attorney, financial advisors, CPAs, financial institutions, and others must remain …

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Thought for the Day” #1256 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

June 10, 2019

“Another common mistake when administering a special needs trust is reimbursing with cash or distributing money directly to the SNT beneficiary. Any money the trustee gives to the beneficiary directly is “unearned income” to the beneficiary under the SSI rules. After a set-aside of the first $20 each month (general income exclusion), these cash payments …

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Thought for the Day” #1255 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

June 5, 2019

Continuing our discussion regarding “10 Mistakes to Avoid When Administering a Special Needs Trust,” today we’ll visit the mistake of “Failing to Distribute for Beneficiary’s Food and Shelter.” Another common misundertanding is that a SNT trustee can never make distributions for the beneficiary’s food or shelter needs. If the SNT beneficiary is an SSI recipient, …

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Thought for the Day” #1254 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

May 31, 2019

“In today’s discussion about “10 Mistakes to Avoid When Administering a Special Needs Trust,” we’ll talk about “Misunderstanding the Sole Benefit Rule.” A first-party SNT must be used for the “sole benefit” of the primary beneficiary during his or her lifetime. If a distribution provides some benefit to the beneficiary, it is considered to be …

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Thought for the Day” #1253 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

May 28, 2019

Today we’ll begin a discussion surrounding “10 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Administering a Special Needs Trust.” 1) Confusing the Types of Special Needs Trusts: a) Third-party SNT b) First-party SNT Although an SNT trustee has nearly identical duties in administering first-party SNTs and third-party SNTs, certain important distinctions between the two cause problems for …

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