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My brother receives $1100+ in SSDI. He also gets food stamps ($30 only) and Medicaid, Medicare and subsidized rent. Can A speci

Hagatna, GU |

If I put his SSDI into a special needs trust , would he be able to receive more in public benefits ( such as more food stamps or more rent subsididy, and more Medicaid? Anything would help because he"s got $0 too at the end of the month. I want to give his finances over to the public guardian because I can't handle his constant demands for money and accusations of keeping it from him. But should I create a special needs trust for him first?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

There are too mnany facts missing, and the questsions you are asking are too specific for the more general questions usually asked here. For example, are you his guardian now? His representative payee? And if so, why?

You need to talk to an attorney who handles special needs trusts and social security matters in your area who can answer your questions based on your specific facts. If you do not have an attorney, there are a number of good attorneys in your area, some of whom you can find here on Avvo. You may also contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is

In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.

Their link is:

You may also contact NADR (National Association of Disability Representatives) – automated Telephone Referral System at 1-800-747-6131.

Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of NOSSCR and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.

I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
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The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.



Thank you for your response. I am his representative payee not his guardian. There is no SSI in Guam although he received SSI when he was in Hawaii. I really just want to find out if it is possible to put SSDI into a special needs trust and have the public guardian be the trustee. But I will speak to an attorney here. I just wanted to know more facts before I spoke to one. Thank you again. I'll be sure to look up the website.


Confused because you can't get both SSDI and SSI at the same time. If he is getting SSDi then that amount cannot be increased except by the COLA increases. It may be helpful to talk with a local elder law attorney to see if there are any other ways to help your brother manage his money.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.