We do the following:

  • Protect Individual Assets
  • Maintain Benefits
  • Resolve Spend Down
  • Relieve Providers of Additional Time and Costs

FAQ's For The Provider 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 an accoun with the Provider Trust?

The cost to establish a pooled trust account with the Provider Trust is $375.  We recommend that an account be opened when an individual has at least $500 to deposit with the expectation that the account will be receiving additional deposits over time.  In such cases, Arlington does not collect the $375 until the establishment fee is 10% or less of the person's balance. 

How quickly can a pooled trust account be established?

An individual's pooled trust account can be established within five business days with the appropriate documentation.  However, should the individual require a faster turn-around time, this process can be expedited.  

What can be placed in person's pooled trust account?

The Provider Trust can accommodate cash, securities, and other liquid assets.  Once a trust account is opened, the Trustee  has the right to convert all non-cash assets (real estate, personal property) to cash if it is 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 account may deposit a check to the person's trust account, payable to "AmeriServ Trust & Financial F.B.O. [individual's name]".  AmeriServ Trust & Financial is the trust company where the funds reside.  The check and deposit form are then submitted to Arlington for processing.

Are contributions to the Provider Trust tax deductible?

Contributions to an individual's pooled trust account are NOT tax deductible. 

How is the Provider Trust principal invested?

Individual trust accounts are pooled for investment purposes and the Trustee decides upon investment policy for the entire pool.  Investment objectives are subject to the the Prudent Man principle, stated in the Provider Trust agreement.  Typically, Trustees choose capital preservation strategies:  conservative portfolios with a high percentage allocation to high-quality bonds or bond funds. 

Can additional funds be added to a person's individual trust account?

Yes, additional deposits can be made by the beneficiary. One of the major reasons for establishing a trust account is that assets that would otherwise affect resource limits can be deposited to the trust. 

Income from work, workers compensation awards, child support or other sources, can be paid into the pooled trust without jeopardizing government benefits.

How does an individual gain access to funds in his/her pooled trust account?

The team leader, supports coordinator, or family member can make requests in writing for funds for a specific need. This will be accompanied by an invoice or receipts. The Trustee authorizes requests so long as they comply with the law and Social Security regulations.  Completed requests are forwarded to the trust agent, AmeriServ Trust & Financial, for distribution of funds to the appropriate vendor or third party. 

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

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

The below list is a digest of permissible distributions from a pooled trust account.  There are many more examples where the product/service can be paid for out of a pooled trust account.  These are items and services NOT covered by government benefits and yet pertains to the person’s disability or may help improve the person's quality of life.

  • Computer hardware, software, program maintenance and/or internet service
  • Dues or memberships
  • 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 are funds in the Provider Trust?

All funds are held at AmeriServ Trust & Financial Company, Inc. of Johnstown, PA.  AmeriServ Trust & Financial is a subsidiary of AmeriServ Financial Bank.  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 Manager and oversees the back-office functions of the trust. 

Does the beneficiary need to reside in Pennsylvania to participate in the Provider Trust?

No. The situs of the pooled trust is in Pennsylvania but the individual can reside in any state.  

What is the cost of enrolling an individual in the Provider Trust?

The cost to establish a trust for a special needs individual is $375. This covers the legal fee, the administrative fee and the opening of the trust. The annual fee is 2.5% of the Provider 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 Provider Trust?

Quarterly reports are sent to the Trustee for each beneficiary in the Provider Trust. These reports are available to Grantors, beneficiaries, and/or family members.  Monthly reports on the entire pool is also sent to the Trustee for transparency. 

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

Taxes may be due from the investment gains if the individual has earned income of $17,000 or more.  Arlington Heritage Group and AmeriServ Trust & Financial prepare the tax forms, pay the tax from the individual's trust account (if any), and files with the appropriate tax authorities. 

Has the pooled trust been approved by Social Security?

The Provider Trust has been accepted and approved by the Social Security Administration. The trust has been in operation since 2002. 

Can a Provider Trust account be used to fund a burial trust?

Yes.  Arlington recommends that Provider Trust beneficiaries have some kind of plan in place which should include a pre-paid burial that is irrevocable.  

What happens to funds remaining in a Provider Trust account upon the death of the beneficiary?

The law states that any residual funds may be retained in the trust for other individuals in the pooled trust and those with disabilities. If the Trustee does not wish to retain the funds, then the funds MUST be remitted to the residing state's Estate Recovery Program.

What has been the return on the principal since the Provider Trust started?

Each Trustee makes its own investment objective for its pooled trust.  Typically, the investment objective is to return between 4%-5% per year. The cost to manage and administer the trust is 2.5% per year.  At a 4.5% return or higher, the funds in the trust can grow at a minimum of 2% per year. Taxes, if any, are paid from the client’s trust account. 

Typically, the Trustee wishes to preserve capital, thereby ensuring the principal is there when the beneficiary needs it.  This investment style is by nature conservative.