As part of the 21st Century Cures Act which passed in 2016, Congress has finally corrected a glitch in the law dating back to 1993. Back then, Congress authorized the creation of so-called (d)(4)(A) trusts which permit people with disabilities under age 65 to shelter funds and still qualify for Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts) and Supplemental Security Income. A quirk in the law has required these trusts to be created by a parent, grandparent, guardian or court, even if the beneficiary is competent to create the trust herself. This has limited the availability of these trusts and required expensive proceedings in court which have often delayed eligibility for vital public benefits.
Finally, due to the advocacy of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Congress has acted to correct the mistake it made more than two decades ago. Learn more about (d)(4)(A) special needs trusts here.