Medicaid special needs trusts and PI settlements in Arizona

Seniors who get into automobile accidents sometimes have difficult recoveries, and thus require care in a long-term care facility.  And given that the vast majority of individuals have not prepared to pay for this expensive care, many of these seniors find themselves in need of Arizona’s Medicaid program, ALTCS.  One very common problem that arises here, however, is that the personal injury settlement or judgment impedes Medicaid eligibility.  Even seniors who otherwise draw very little income and have very little savings can be ineligible for Medicaid for receiving a personal injury settlement.

It hardly seems fair that a settlement from the very accident that causes an individual to require long-term care can cause that person to be ineligible for long-term care coverage.  As you may have guessed, there is a way for seniors to receive their settlement and qualify for Arizona Medicaid.  By establishing a Medicaid special needs trust, accident victims can many times collect their settlement without jeopardizing public benefits that they require to obtain suitable health care.

Money in a Medicaid special needs trust is essentially not counted for purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility.  Rather, so long as the special needs trust is properly funded, and the funds are used for designated purposes only, those funds are deemed non-countable, and thus do not affect Medicaid eligibility in any way.  A special needs trust is a unique tool with very complex rules that apply to it.  As such, accident victims should only seek advice about special needs trusts from a special needs trust attorney.