Most families with children of special needs rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits administered by the Social Security Administration to some extent to provide for the children after the parents pass away. For some families, this is the only plan that they have. However, recent news from The Washington Post should give all families pause. The paper reports that the Social Security Trust Fund will run out of money in 2016. It may be time to make other plans.
Parents of children with special needs can create Trust funds for their children that provide the necessary financial support for the children after the parents pass away. They can be funded with various assets including retirement account and life insurance proceeds. These Trusts can be used to pay for the special needs child’s room, board and medical care. Federal law recognizes the Trusts and does not use them as a reason to deny or lessen any benefits to the special needs children. So, if Congress finds a way to keep Social Security solvent, then the special needs children can still receive government benefits.
You cannot rely on Washington to fix things any time soon. Everyone knows that currently the government is gridlocked and shows no signs of getting out of the jam in the immediate future. Talk to an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney about how you can provide for the care of your special needs child.