SSA issues Emergency Memorandum Confirming that People with Disabilities Now Able to Create their own Special Needs Trusts

In a prior blog post, I discussed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, recently-enacted federal legislation that will allow people with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts instead of having to rely on others.  The new law was included in the 21st Century Cures Act,  a $6.3 billion package of health-related initiatives that has also been signed into law.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has begun incorporating these recent changes into the agency regulations, known as the Program Operations Manual System (POMS). Pending a formal revision of the POMS SI 01120.203, the POMS section governing special needs trusts, the Social Security Administration issued an Emergency Memorandum EM 16053 on December 13, 2016 to all 68,000 SSA staff members advising that “individuals” is now added to parents, grandparents, legal guardians and courts as permissible settlors to establish an individual Special Needs Trust. See below:

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For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: