Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trusts and Supplemental Security Income in San Francisco

You may be able to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if you are aged, blind, or disabled and have limited income and resources, but a person with too much income is not eligible for any benefits. However, SSA does not hold certain income against an applicant when determining whether they are eligible for benefits in San Francisco, and how much they will receive. This is where trusts come in, because sometimes a “special needs trust” can be set up for an SSI recipient to reduce income.

A Special Needs Trust holds title to property for the benefit of a disabled child or adult, to supplement benefits. The trust can hold cash, personal or real property, or can be the beneficiary of life insurance proceeds.

Generally if you receive money from a trust your SSI benefits will be reduced by that amount, but not all money received from a Special Needs Trust will reduce the amount of your benefits.

  • Money paid directly from the trust to the providers of medical care, education, and entertainment does not reduce SSI payments.
  • Money paid directly to providers of food, clothing, and shelter within certain limits also does not reduce SSI payments.

However, money paid directly to an SSI recipient from the trust will reduce SSI payments.

In 2008, the maximum allowable deduction was approximately $232.00.

SSA cannot assist in setting up a trust so it is important to consult an attorney or financial adviser to find out more about trusts.

Disability Group, Inc. was founded on the principles of dignity and respect. We are a national law firm focused exclusively on helping people receive the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve. For more information about Social Security, or to see if you qualify for benefits, visit us at

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