Understanding a Pooled Income Trust in New York

In New York, residents who need Medicaid for home care have to qualify for the assistance, which means they cannot earn income above the Medicaid limit. The unfortunate truth about these limits is that many family members make too much to qualify for Medicaid assistance, but they don’t earn enough to pay for home care out of pocket. That is why pooled income trusts are necessary.

If you’re searching for a “trust attorney near me” to find an estate planning lawyer to help you protect your assets by enrolling in a pooled income trust in New York, look to the reputable estate planning lawyers at SCHNEIDER, GARRASTEGUI & FEDELE PLLC. They have the experience you need to handle this type of irrevocable trust.

What Is a Pooled Trust?

New York State (State) defines a pooled trust as an irrevocable trust, or Supplemental Needs Trust that benefits people with disabilities who want to qualify for Medicaid without a spend-down. To be eligible for Medicaid for home care, residents must meet income limits. Individuals have an earning limit of $895 per month, while couples have a limit of $1,304 per month.

Many people cannot afford to spend down their surplus monthly earnings to meet the Medicaid qualification limits. Instead of cutting their income short, they can deposit their extra earnings in a pooled income trust.

By enrolling in one of these trusts, disabled residents can deposit their excess income, qualify for Medicaid, and still have access to their surplus earnings to pay bills.

Who Can Qualify for Medicaid in New York with a Pooled Income Trust?

In New York, the only people who can participate in a pooled income trust to qualify for Community Medicaid with Long-Term Care are legally disabled persons. The Social Security Administration or the New York State government must certify the legitimacy of their disabilities.

Most New York residents who use pooled income trusts do not have the Social Security Administration documentation proving their disability. However, residents who require home care usually meet the requirements for the State to declare them legally disabled. The key is to have documentation proving their disability and an evaluation from the State.

How Can Pooled Income Trustees Use Deposited Money?

New York has many pooled income trusts, and nonprofit organizations control the administrations. Each one has separate fees, policies, and minimum deposit requirements.

Generally speaking, each member within a pooled income trust has a personal account. You can use any money you deposit into the trust to pay bills in your name, assuming your name is the same as the pooled income trust account member. You must submit all invoices to the trust so that a worker for the organization can pay what is due with your deposited funds.

No members can receive a cash withdrawal from their accounts. However, some pooled income trusts allow for automatic payments for recurring bills. In New York, excess money must stay in the trust, even if the member passes away.

How to Enroll in Pooled Income Trusts

Thanks to a federal court settlement in March 2019, the New York City Human Resources Administration must approve Medicaid applications within 90 days if the agency also finds the applicant “disabled.” Residents over 65 years old who want to join a pooled income trust have to request their local Medicaid office to classify them as “disabled.”

Enrolling in a pooled income trust in New York requires the following:

  • A joinder agreement that you sign in front of a notary public
  • A copy of the member’s Social Security Award Letter, along with documentation for the information on the Award Letter
  • Guaranteed funds payable to your choice of pooled trust organization

Once you apply to enroll in a pooled income trust, you should apply for Medicaid for home care with a spend-down. If you need help navigating the ins and outs of a pooled income trust, it is important to seek the legal advice of an estate lawyer.

By looking online for a “trust attorney near me,” you can find legal professionals who know how to enroll and manage a pooled income trust and how enrollment could benefit you or a loved one.

Estate Lawyer and Trust Attorney Near Me – SCHNEIDER, GARRASTEGUI  & FEDELE PLLC

When you are looking for a “trust attorney near me” in Melville, New York, or the surrounding areas, look no further than the law firm of SCHNEIDER, GARRASTEGUI & FEDELE PLLC. Our primary practice areas include estate planning and elder law. For over 30 years, our firm has dedicated itself to helping clients protect their assets so that their family members can have less stress about their future.

When working with a trust attorney from SCHNEIDER, GARRASTEGUI & FEDELE PLLC, you can be sure you are receiving comprehensive legal services from a top trust attorney. Call (631) 756-6006 today to consult with a trust lawyer about a pooled income trust, living trust, and other legal protections.


Copyright© 2022. SCHNEIDER, GARRASTEGUI & FEDELE PLLC. All rights reserved.


The information in this blog post (post) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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