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Mom's elder law attorney wrote a trust supplemental needs one for brother. Brother is calling and yelling and upset about SSI. He says the lawyer doesn't know what she's doing. I don't think she is expert on the subject. Social Security doesn't give concrete understandable answers when you ask them. I most need to know interaction between trust and SSI.

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Send, my grandmother received some property tax rebate checks in the first year I was here. I had learned she qualified for a considerable discount on her property taxes due to program in Illinois called "Senior Freeze," but the trust wasn't filing her paperwork each year to get the reduction. The tax assessors office sent rebate checks directly to her, not to the trust. I could've turned them over to the trust, but... I ended up using the money for her needs instead. The trust was the one responsible for overpaying for a decade. They wasted over $10k overpaying her property taxes just because they wouldn't file the basic paperwork.

Regardless, the refund will go to the person in whose name the taxes are paid. It doesn't matter that trust paid/overpaid the tax. That's my experience.
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And now that I actually READ the answers on the thread, I see you all have given some good input for this specific situation. When special circumstances come up, consult an attorney. It's well worth the investment of legal fees to get expert advice on a situation that may endanger benefits.
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I was very sleepy when I left my previous comment on this thread! I left out the most pertinent part. My dad has a trust that is set up for his benefit. His trust is not considered an asset since he can't cash it out, and he doesn't receive any money/income out of it. It's "for his benefit," so it does help pay for living expenses, but the Elder Law attorney (who is top of her field) who I consulted explained that the trust still allows my father to qualify for many benefits - subsidized housing, SSI, Medicaid.

It depends on the type of trust. There is a way to set one up that doesn't affect SSI eligibility, clearly, because my father was just approved for SSI and they know he has a trust "for his benefit." It's not HIS asset, but it's there to help with expenses.
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Hadnuff,
The weird thing is that brother had access to cash the checks, when the money should have gone into the trust account.
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Forgot, a judge determines if a Special needs trust is given. Once it is enforced it cannot be broken. Its lifelong. Any monies left go to the beneficary. Cannot be calculated by Social Security or SSI as income but they do need to be aware there is one.
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Alert: The brother should stop calling Soc. Sec. and let the rep. payee and trustee handle it. He should not have access to be able to cash checks, there are rules to follow, and he can really mess this up. He needs to cooperate, is probably upset because a special needs trust prevents him from access to his money. If he is so smart, sit down with him and have him read the trust and SSI rules/guidelines.
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Just to add: If a Speial needs trust is in effect, its because the person was found unable to handle his money. They cannot touch this money only the Trustee. It cannot be used for food or lodging. SSI and SSD are for that purpose. Those people n one of these get Medicare, Medicaid or both. If taxes are being paid by someone other than the brother, they should be intitled to any rebates. Here in NJ the homestead rebate is taken off the tax bill, no check given. The freeze rebate a check is sent. There maybe a way to have checks go to the payee.
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Barbara, I suspect the difference in the answers had to do with the difference in the way the question was asked.

Have the lawyer reach out to SSI.
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The problem: Brother was sent two checks from property tax rebate office. Tried to cancel the rebate as I played property tax from mom estate. The lady said brothers expenses should have been around $860. The check are the amount to cover his expenses. Made no sense to me. Called lawyer. She said brother can cash checks but can only use the money for things that the trust would be allowed to pay for. Brother called SS office. Told he had to cash checks and his SS I was being reduced or stopped until he pays the money back. So lawyer had different answer than SS. That's were I need expert. Not on normal rules. But when weird things come up.
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If I recall Hadnuff's prior posts about her brother, he is very smart but incapable of holding a job. Hadnuff and brother's mom left all of her assets in a Special Needs Trust for brother, including her house. Hadnuff is the trustee.

(My take on this is that Brother is mentally ill in some way; you have to be able to show that the person has legitimate special needs in order to create this sort of trust--it can't simply be that the person doesn't WANT to work).

Brother hounds Hadnuff for control of the money, wants to put it in the stock market, wants to have control over "his funds". And now he is complaining that the lawyer doesn't know what she's talking about.
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My father qualifies for SSI even though he doesn't pay any living expenses. That's due to his low SS benefit. Qualifying for SSI does also automatically qualify one for Medicaid... apparently... though my dad received Medicaid coverage for years without receiving SSI benefit money.
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I don't know if my input will help...

I just recently took my 78 yo father to apply for SSI. He does qualify, as being (1) elderly, and (2) low income, which gives the 2 qualifications for SSI benefits. SSA will only give up to $500 without the beneficiary showing they have bills/expenditures to pay. If someone is being cared for by others, they won't qualify for their max amount of SSI they will otherwise receive.  

E.g., in my dad's case, he lives at my brother's house and pays no part of bills, rent, food.  He can only qualify to receive up to $500 total without having verified expenses.  

If there are bills, rent, medical expenses that can be documented for SSA, they will provide $700 total (SS + SSI) for any indigent, elderly person.

I'm not sure what the issue is, exactly, in your case, but I hope this is helpful info of what SSI will provide, and under what circumstances.
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Barbara, if I recall correctly, your brother wants control of "his" money and wants to have control over investing it.

You cannot give him money. It will disqualify him from SSI. Someone (the trustee) needs to pay for items other than food and shelter. (At least that's what I'm getting from reading on the SSA website.) SSI is intended to be there to pay for food and shelter. You don't want him to lose SIS because then he would lose Medicaid, yes?

Is that what the lawyer has told you? Let me guess...your brother doesn't like the answer.
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HOW DOES MONEY FROM A TRUST THAT IS NOT MY RESOURCE AFFECT MY SSI BENEFITS? Money paid directly to you from the trust reduces your SSI benefit.
Money paid directly to someone to provide you with food or shelter reduces your SSI benefit but only up to a certain limit. No matter how much money is paid for these items, we subtract no more than $265.00 (in 2017) from your SSI check for the month you receive the items.
Money paid directly to someone to provide you with items other than food and shelter does not reduce your SSI benefits. (Items that are not "food or shelter" include medical care, telephone bills, education, entertainment, etc.)

SSA website
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Ignore your brother. Ask the lawyer your questions.
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