FAQ's For The Pooled Trust

The following are the most commonly asked questions regarding special needs pooled trust  procedures. If you have a question that is not addressed, please visit our contact page to submit it.

Is there a minimum amount required to open this pooled trust?

The trust can be opened with a deposit of $500.

How quickly can a Pooled Trust account be established?

A Pooled Trust can be established within two business days; provided the person opening the trust reads the trust document, signs a Grantor agreement and submits an initial deposit check.

What can be placed in this pooled trust?

Cash, securities and liquid assets. The trustee has the right to convert all non-cash assets (real estate, personal property) to cash in the best interest of the individual.

How can a relative or friend contribute to an individual’s Pooled Trust?

A family member or friend who wishes to make a contribution to an individual's Pooled Trust simply makes out a check payable to AmeriServ Trust & Financial F.B.O. (individual's name).  The check and deposit form are then submitted to Arlington for processing.

My son has a Special Needs Payback Trust. Can he also have a Pooled Trust?

Yes. You can open a Pooled Trust for him. The funds in the Payback Trust should be used first to pay expenses not covered by government benefits.

I am a parent and wish to leave my disabled child funds upon my death. What is the best way to implement this objective now?

Set up the Pooled Trust now with a minimum of $500. Indicate in your will the amount you wish to leave to your disabled child with the instructions that the amount is to be placed in his/her pooled trust.

How can I divide my estate among my children without having ill feelings or have anyone involved in managing the amount that I leave to my disabled child?

Decide the amount you wish to leave to each child. Set up a Pooled Trust for your disabled child. Instruct the executor of your will to place the amount left to your disabled child in his/her Pooled Trust. The management and distribution will be the responsibility of the Trustee and not any of your children. But your children will have the opportunity to request qualified distributions for their brother or sister.

Can additional funds be added to this trust?

Yes. Additional deposits can be made by the beneficiary. One of the major reasons for having this trust is so assets that may affect the beneficiary’s government benefits can be deposited to his/her trust.

Income from work, workers compensation award, child support or other sources, can be paid into his/her Pooled Trust without jeopardizing government benefit.

How does an individual gain access to funds in his/her Pooled Trust?

Family members or caregivers can make a request in writing for funds for a specific need. This needs to be accompanied by an invoice or receipts. The Trustee will authorize the request as long as it complies with the regulation of the Pooled Trust. The request is forwarded to the Trust Agent for distribution of the funds.

Payment cannot be made directly to the beneficiary but to the party providing the services and/or product.

What are some examples that would be approved by the Trustee?

SNPT Permissible Distributions

This list is by no means comprehensive. There are many more examples where the product or service provided is not covered by government benefits and pertains to the person’s disability.

Here are a few examples of items that can be funded by the SNPT:

  • Dues for memberships such as those for health clubs, gyms, movie/DVD subscriptions, zoos, advocacy groups, and/or museums
  • Computer hardware, software, program maintenance and internet service
  • Conferences and travel costs
  • Dental work not covered by Medicaid, including anesthesia
  • Insurance co-payments not covered by Medicaid
  • Over the counter medications not covered by Medicaid
  • Furniture, audio equipment, and TV for the individual’s use
  • Private counseling, psychotherapy, psychiatrist costs not covered by Medicaid
  • Therapy (physical, occupational, speech, rehab) not covered by Medicaid
  • Transportation (bus or subway passes, cab fare, etc.)
  • Special travel expenses to enhance social skills (including paying for personal assistance to accompany the beneficiary)
Where is the Pooled Trust held?

All funds are with AmeriServ Trust & Financial Company in Johnstown, PA. All checks for deposit are made payable to AmeriServ Trust & Financial Company. No checks are made payable directly to Arlington Heritage Group.  Arlington Heritage Group is the Trust Administrator and oversees the Trust.

Does the beneficiary need to reside in Pennsylvania to enroll in the AHG Pooled Trust?

NO. The site of the Pooled Trust is in Pennsylvania. The individual can reside in any state.

What is the cost of enrolling an individual in this pooled trust?

The cost to establish a trust for a special needs individual is $275. This covers the legal fee, the administrative fee and the opening of the trust. The annual fee is 2.5% of the Trust Principal.

Unlike other pooled trusts, Arlington does not charge additional fees for deposits, distributions or tax preparation.  In some cases charges are incurred for counseling services once the trust is established.

What types of reports are available to monitor the Pooled Trust?

Quarterly reports are sent to the Trustee for each beneficiary in the Pooled Trust. These reports are available to Grantors or family members of the beneficiary, making this trust truly transparent.

What type of taxes would be due and who prepares the tax form?

Taxes may be due from the investment if the client has earned income of over $17,000. The bank prepares the forms, pays the tax (if any) and files them with the appropriate offices.

Has the Pooled Trust been approved by Social Security?

The Pooled Trust has been approved by Social Security Administration. It has also been approved by the Pennsylvania Office of the Governor's Legal Counsel.

What happens to funds remaining in the Pooled Trust upon the death of the beneficiary?

The law states that any residual funds must be retained in the trust for other individuals in the Pooled Trust. If the agency does not wish to retain the funds, then the funds MUST be remitted to the State's Estate Recovery Program.

What has been the return on the trust principal since this Pooled Trust started?

The investment objective is to return between 4% and 5%. The cost to manage and administer the trust is 2.5% per year. At a 4.5% return, the funds in the trust will grow at 2% per year. Taxes, if any, are paid from the client’s trust account.