Advantages of a SNT

The Advantages of Using a Special Needs Trust in New Jersey (SNT)

Advantages for the Trust Beneficiary

I think a Special Needs Trust is terrific when used in the right circumstances.  But the operative words are “the right circumstances”.  Here’s what I mean and why I like Special Needs Trusts.

The Advantages of a Special Needs Trust

Eligibility for Government Benefit Programs

If an individual is just applying for benefits, then initial eligibility is much easier to obtain.  If an individual is already receiving government benefit programs like DDD or Medicaid and comes into money then with a qualifying SNT in place, he or she will continue to receive services.  The funds and money placed into a properly drafted special needs trust do not count as an available resource during the application and redetermination process, thereby protecting eligibility.

Reduced Costs to the Person With the Disability and His/Her Family

When providers contract with the State of New Jersey to provide Medicaid services, they agree to deliver those services at a significantly lower cost than if the individual had to pay privately.  While if a special needs trust must eventually reimburse the State of New Jersey for the cost of services provided during the beneficiary’s lifetime, reimbursement will be at a lower cost and will be free of any penalties or interest.

A Supplemental Needs Trusts Can Protect an Inheritance and Pass Family Assets to the Next Generation After the Person with the Disability Passes

A Supplemental Needs Trust is a very special type of trust.  Because the trustee has discretion over disbursements made from the trust, the beneficiary has no right to receive trust funds directly. Trust funds are used for his/her supplemental needs, health care and quality of life as life goes on.  Some examples of eligible purchases that can be made from the trust to improve a beneficiary’s quality of life include the following:

  • Medical procedures or therapies not provided through Medicaid or other medical government assistance.
  • Geriatric care services.
  • Travel expenses and entertainment costs while traveling.
  • Home and local entertainment expenses such as concerts, audio, visual, and other electronic devices, including a personal computer, an X-Box and/or Playstation.  You can even subscribe to Netflix.
  • Guardian and custodial fees.
  • Companionship costs.
  • Other reasonable expenses, services, or products not provided by the individual’s government assistance program from the State of New Jersey.

Please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. to discuss all of the services and benefits available from a SNT.  Call toll-free 855-376-5291 or email him at

Maximizing the Benefit of a Structured Settlement Using a New Jersey Special Needs Trust

In personal injury actions, combining a special needs trust with a structured settlement can provide a second level of protection for a disabled person.  The first level of protection is through the structured settlement’s ability to shield the settlement funds ($$$) from the undue influence of new-found “friends”, economically distressed family members, as well as from the beneficiary’s own spendthrift propensities.  Additionally, the special needs trust can provide a second level of protection by preserving eligibility for government benefit programs.  This allows the structured settlements periodic payments to be maximized, thereby greatly improving the economic security and quality of life for the person with the disability.

Availability of Choices for the Beneficiary For Medical Care

A Medicaid eligible beneficiary can request the trustee of the SNT to purchase medical services not covered by Medicaid. This may include payments to a specialist who doesn’t accept Medicaid payments, supplemental therapies, assistive technology or devices. Maybe there are expenses or experimental drugs that may help the person’s overall health but these drugs are cost prohibitive or insurance considers them experimental. The important point is that a trustee has the legal ability to expend trust funds for the benefit of the person with the disability, especially if Medicaid does not cover a particular medication, therapy, or assistive device.

Avoidance of the Need for a Guardianship

A Special Needs Trust with an appointed trustee is traditionally recognized as an appropriate vehicle for providing financial management to a disabled person and avoid or reduce legal costs associated with filing a guardianship application.  Avoiding guardianship when feasible is a highly valuable benefit of having a SNT.

Fredrick P. Niemann Esq.

Think a SNT will benefit you or someone you know? Call my office today. Ask for me to personally discuss the benefits of a Special Needs Trust in New Jersey.

Call me toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at

I look forward to meeting with you.




Written by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a New Jersey Special Needs Trust Attorney