Law Passed to Help Military Veterans Safeguard Survivor Benefits for their Children with Disabilities
As part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2015, Congress will allow a special needs trust (SNT) to be designated to receive military Survivor Benefit Pans on behalf of the Retiree’s child with a disability. Prior to this law, children of eligible Veterans who received needs based government benefits to pay for the costs of long term care or other services were subject to losing those valuable benefits since the VA required that any Survivor Benefit be paid directly to the child with the disability. Under the new provision, the Survivor Benefit can be paid instead to a first party SNT which will now protect a child from losing important government benefits, while allowing the Survivor Benefit to be used for other goods and services, such as therapy not covered by the government, respite care, computers that can enhance the child’s well being. A first party special needs trust (SNT) is created for funds that belong to the person with the disability. Upon his or her death, remaining trust assets must be used to repay Medicaid for services provided the individual during life.