Good news from the Special Needs Alliance: New Federal rules now allow military veterans to direct their benefits to a special needs trust for their dependent adult children with special needs. Previously, the Department of Defense took the position that a "person" did not include a trust for a child with disabilities, which meant that military members couldn't direct their pension to their adult child with disabilities without jeopardizing their essential government benefits such as SSI and Medicaid. Learn more in the article below.
Disabled Military Child Protection Act Policy Issued
On December 31, 2015, the Department of Defense released its policy implementing the Disabled Military Child Protection Act, providing guidance on who may assign survivor benefits to a special needs trust and the procedure for doing so.
President Obama signed the Disabled Military Child Protection Act on December 19, 2014. This law allows a military parent to provide a survivor benefit for a child with a disability, and have it paid to a special needs trust for that child’s benefit. Until this law was enacted, military parents of children with disabilities faced a serious dilemma at retirement – whether or not to choose the military Survivor Benefits Plan (SBP) retirement option for their children. The dilemma was that under prior law, the benefit could not be assigned to a special needs trust and could potentially interfere with the child’s eligibility for means-tested government benefit programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid.
Read more at the Special Needs Alliance website.