Category Archives: Special Needs News

4/16/2020 – Newest Information for SSI Recipients and Stimulus Check

After some misinformation and confusion, the federal government has clarified how Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will receive their Stimulus Payment.   For most, NO ACTION IS REQUIRED AS PAYMENTS WILL BE AUTOMATIC. The IRS will use the information that the Social Security Administration has on file to distribute the benefit.  If your consumer receives their…
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2020 Stimulus Check Updated – See 4/16/2020 Blog For Current Information

************ NOTE:  As of April 15, 2029, the Social Security Administration and the IRS clarified the status of Stimulus Checks and SSI-recipients.  For those receiving SSI benefits only, apparently NO ACTION IS REQUIRED.  PAYMENTS WILL BE AUTOMATIC.  If a consumer receives SSI benefits electronically, the individual will receive an electronic Stimulus Check.  If the person…
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2020 Stimulus Check – See 4/16/2020 Blog For Current Information

  ************ NOTE:  As of April 15, 2029, the Social Security Administration and the IRS clarified the status of Stimulus Checks and SSI-recipients.  For those receiving SSI benefits only, apparently NO ACTION IS REQUIRED.  PAYMENTS WILL BE AUTOMATIC.  If a consumer receives SSI benefits electronically, the individual will receive an electronic Stimulus Check.  If the…
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Where Is Competition from New Investors and New Technology Coming From?

New Age Competition in I/DD – Technology & Capital Investment Companies with advanced technology and massive amounts of capital are beginning to see financial and operational opportunity in the I/DD market. These organizations are changing the competitive environment for traditional provider organizations, requiring specialty organizations to think differently. The healthcare market overall has garnered a…
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Social Security Weighs In Regarding End of Life Planning

Social Security is clear about resources for Supplemental Security Income or SSI. Nonetheless, there is confusion among providers, families, and direct support professionals when it comes to funding end-of-life plans. In April 2015, we attended a conference where the Administration’s SSI Program Expert, Mandy Stokes, spoke about this issue.

To review, individuals receiving SSI are allowed the following resources for burial:

• burial funds up to $1,500

• insurance or life insurance up to $1,500

• cemetery plots, headstones and funerary merchandise

None of these allowances are helpful to caregivers in truly funding a funeral plan; the average cost for a traditional funeral runs between $7,000 – $10,000 nationally. Fortunately, Social Security does suggest some solutions.

The SS encourages the purchase of a pre-paid funeral plan that is irrevocable.   In other words, there must be a purchase of goods and services; and this purchase must be made into an irrevocable trust or other irrevocable instrument.

Burial reserve accounts, CDs, and even irrevocable burial savings are considered resources if the balance is over $1,500. This is because these accounts have not been used to purchase anything. There is no pre-paid plan and the funds are not attached to the delivery of any goods and services to the individual.

The following slide was part of Ms. Stokes’s talk at the MidAtlantic Pooled Trust Conference on April 10, 2015. The first two bullet points concern a permissible expenditure from a special needs pooled trust.   The third bullet point and the last bullet point are particularly relevant to how Social Security prefers how an end-of-life plan is structured.SS

Finally, we unearthed an SSA newsletter written in 2002 that is still helpful. Even though the newsletter is nearly 13 years old, the information is still good and provides a useful guideline for families and DSPs. Access the newsletter copy here.

If you have further questions about this subject, please call (215) 672-1184.