1.   Are nonprofit trusts given a special status under federal law to trust managers of special needs trusts? Yes.

When Congress confirmed the use of special needs trusts in 1993, the law stated that non-profit organizations may manage special needs trusts, and that non-profit trusts could retain funds in trust even after the death of the first beneficiary. Congress reconfirmed this in 1999.

2.  Does New Hampshire Law protect Disability Trusts from claims? Yes.

New Hampshire passed a law in 1996 that specifically protects special needs trusts against people claiming to be creditors. Sometimes people try to take advantage of a person with disabilities. This New Hampshire law protects special needs trust assets so they can be used to benefit the person with disabilities and not taken from them, even if the trust was established with funds belonging to the person with disabilities.

3.  Does New Hampshire have a specific law requiring the State to follow federal law about what special needs trusts can purchase for people with disabilities? Yes.

RSA 167:4(V) requires the State to follow Federal law when administrating the medical assistance program. This law is called “Emily’s Law’ named after a young women with disabilities whose case led to the law.

4.  Is Enhanced Life Options a charitable organization? Yes. Enhanced Life Options has been determined to be a tax-exempt public charity under IRC 501(c)(3).  

5.  Does the Social Security program allow Special Needs Trusts? Yes.

Since 1975 the Social Security Administration has had established rules allowing assets to be held in trust for a recipient of SSI if the disabled beneficiary cannot control the amount or the frequency of trust distributions and cannot revoke the trust. In 1999 Congress confirmed by statute the use of special needs trusts in the Social Security context.

6.  Does the Medicaid program allow Special Needs Trusts? Yes.

Special Needs Trusts have been used for many years in the Medicaid context, and in 1993 Congress confirmed the use of special needs trusts with respect to Medicaid. In 1996, 2004 and 2007, the New Hampshire Legislature confirmed the use of Special Needs Trusts by State law.

7.  Should I consider a Special Needs Trust if SSI and Medicaid are not involved? Yes.

A Special Needs Trust individually tailored to the needs of a person with disabilities can make a big difference for a person who is not receiving public benefits. Special Needs Trusts provide a protective management service and certain liability protections and can provide supplemental help in the event public benefits are needed in the future.