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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

Learn More

Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Financial Planning for Special Needs Trusts

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Special Needs Trusts

Parents always want to make sure that their children are well taken care of in the event that they are no longer around to provide for them. This is especially true when the child has disabilities related to a birth brain injury. Since the child may have more medical needs than a child without this type of injury, parents need to plan to ensure the same quality of care is given consistently. A parent or guardian may want to consider planning for the future of the child’s medical care with a trust.

Elk & Elk

What Will It Do?

A Special Needs Trust (SNT) is a way to provide economic stability for a child that may require additional assistance for treatment options like the physical therapy and other medically necessary care. Additional care is often needed for brain injury patients to ensure the physical limitations or issues resulting from the disability do not prevent them from living life as close to normal as possible.

The trust will allow the child to receive government funding for required care in conjunction with financial assistance from parents or guardians. This means a disabled individual will receive the best possible treatment without relying strictly on government aid. It is a way to save and plan for your child’s future.

How Do They Work?

Parents will select a close friend or family member they believe will look out for the best interests of the baby (trustee) to manage and distribute funds on behalf of the infant. This can start while the parents are still living or it can be set to begin upon the death of the parents. A trust can include money, life insurance, and other financial options like an investment portfolio.

These trusts are exempt from the rules set in place by Medicaid, so any funds distributed from the trust will not be counted when determining the child’s need for assistance from a government agency. They must also be set up to provide care for an individual under the age of 65 that qualifies for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for the disabled. To qualify for SSI, the child must be a citizen, have assets that are less than $2,000 and receive income that falls within the income limits set by the region they reside in.

What Expenses Will It Cover?

In the case of a child with a birth brain injury, an SNT will pay for expenses related to care for that child. For example, physical therapy and rehabilitation, nursing staff (if required), education, specially equipped furnishings for the home, and out-of-pocket dental and medical costs. It is designed to ensure the beneficiary receives the quality of care necessary to help them maintain a healthy life. A Special Needs Trust for a brain injury recipient is a way for parents or guardians to plan for the child’s future and know that they will receive all the care they need. It is important that the trustee selected is one that will protect the interests of the beneficiary and see to it that funds are distributed for their care and quality of life only. The person selected should function as an extension of the parent or guardian to see to it that the baby is properly taken care of as long as care is needed.