What is a Pooled Trust? And Other Pooled Trust Questions Answered

What is a Pooled Trust?

In a pooled trust, a non-profit holds and manages disabled individuals’ assets for the benefit of the disabled individuals. The non-profit “pools” together the funds of many disabled individuals for purposes of management and investment. However, the non-profit maintains separate “accounts” for each individual.

Who Can Benefit from a Pooled Trust?

Pooled trusts benefit disabled individuals who would benefit from Medicaid coverage but have assets that exceed Medicaid eligibility guidelines. An individual’s assets can be transferred into a pooled trust thereby allowing him to qualify for Medicaid. Under current rules, without planning, a single individual would have to spend all non-exempt assets down to $1,500 to qualify for Medicaid.

What Can Pooled Trust Funds Be Spent On?

Asset in a pooled trust can be used to pay for supplemental services. Supplemental services are services beyond the basics of life like travel, hobbies, sports and activities, eating out, special clothing, transportation, companionship, television or phone, etc.

Who is Eligible for a Pooled Trust?

Ohio currently allows anyone disabled to benefit from a pooled trust regardless of age.

How Do I Establish a Pooled Trust?

A pooled trust can be established by the disabled individual, a parent, a grandparent, a legal guardian, or by the court.

What Happens to the Money Remaining in the Pooled Trust when the Disabled Individual Dies?

Anything left in the trust when the disabled individual dies must be used to pay back the state for the total amount of Medicaid paid on the disabled individual’s behalf.

Who is a good candidate for a pooled trust?

Pooled trusts can be a good option for disabled individuals:
• Without family or friends to act as a trustee of a special needs trust; OR
• With a modest amount of assets;

If a disabled individual has significant assets OR a suitable family or friend to act as trustee, a Special Needs Trust, also known as a Supplemental Services Trust may be a better option.

For more information on whether a Pooled Trusts or Special Needs Trusts / Supplemental Services Trusts may be right for you, consult a Cleveland Medicaid Lawyer.