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I get SSI, have mediCARE/mediCal, and am diagnosed with kidney disease.

Bakersfield, CA |

I am a beneficiary for a large lump some over 100,000. My father left me this fund in an IRA account. What can I do in order not to lose my insurance and benefits.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. There are several options that an elder law attorney could explain given more facts. For example, if you are under age 65 a special needs trust might be appropriate. The laws governing SSI and Medicaid/MediCal are very complex and any solution to your problem will require expert, professional assistance. In other words, this is no place to attempt to do it on your own. Use the AVVO Find a Lawyer search tool to locate an elder law attorney in your area or go to the website of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys at www.naela.org.

    Responses provided on Avvo are for general informational purposes only, based upon the limited information that is provided, and do not constitute legal advice. As such you should consult with your own attorney for specific advice. No attorney/client relationship exists with Kelly S. Davis unless set forth in a written engagement letter. The Wyoming State Bar does not certify any attorney as a specialist or expert. Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyer's credentials and ability, and not rely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise.


  2. I agree with my colleague. Your best bet is to set up a special needs (or supplemental needs) trust, which if drafted correctly can protect your SSI benefits. A first party special needs trust is established with your own assets and can provide that a person with a disability can transfer his or her own assets into a trust without being disqualified by the public benefit program for which the disabled person is presently eligible. You should definitely contact an attorney to obtain more information and to draft the special needs trust for you.

    Legal disclaimer: This reply is provided for information purposes only and does not represent legal advice or an attorney-client relationship.


  3. You will need a SNT. Get an local elder law attorney to help you immediately so you don't lose benefits.


  4. Tread very carefully so that you are not rendered Ineligible for benefits. Best bet: sit down tomorrow with an Estate Planning / Disability Benefits attorney. See 'Find-A-Lawyer' @ the top of this page. Good Luck to you !!

    My answer is based on the limited facts presented. It doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship. Use the ‘Find-A-Lawyer’ search engine at the top of this page and follow proper legal advice.


  5. In general, I agree with the prior responses but I do just want to add that you MAY (depending on a number of specific facts that you need to discuss with an attorney) wisely spend down the inheritance and preserve your benefits. For example, the $100,000 might (again, this is why you need to consult a lawyer) be used to purchase a primary residence. You don't indicate the size of the IRA account, but those funds may or may not appropriately be spent down or converted into non-countable or exempt assets/resources as well. The major reason I'm adding this post is just to state that you may or may not necessarily need a Special Needs Trust (SNT) and if the actual sum is "only" $100,000, then the costs of establishing and managing such a SNT might not be justified IF there are reasonable spend down options instead. In any event, you really need to consult an experienced local elder law or public benefits attorney right away to minimize the interruption in your benefits.

    It is impossible to give specific answers to questions without meeting and fully discussing all of the potential issues that may not be addressed by your question. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information and are not legal advice. Only after a thorough personal consultation could specific legal advice be given. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. To enter such a relationship you and I would need to consult in person and form a mutually agreeable written contract of engagement. The answer(s) provided in this forum is intended to educate you and point to issues for you to raise in a consultation with a lawyer of your choosing who is appropriately competent in the field of law that your question concerns and who is duly licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where you live and/or where the events giving rise to your question occurred. You should not take any action that might affect your claim(s) without first seeking the professional opinion of a licensed attorney. There are often strict deadlines for filing suit, responding to a suit or making an appeal and you need to personally consult with an attorney to make sure that you understand and meet those deadlines.

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