What are Pooled Trusts?
The Social Security Act created the concept of a “Pooled Trust”. See 42 U.S.C. §1396p(d)(4)(C). An individual with a disability can create an account in a Pooled Trust to protect his or her eligibility for Medical Assistance, Waiver Services and Supplemental Security Income.
The individual can save funds rather than spend down for unnecessary items just to preserve eligibility for essential supports and services.
The assets in the Pooled Trust are used for the benefit of the individual with a disability to improve their quality of life.
The assets of all the beneficiaries in a Pooled Trust are combined (or “pooled”) for investment purposes so the trustee can have more investment possibilities. The trustee still separately accounts for each person’s interest in the Pooled Trust.
The individual with a disability, their parent, grandparent, guardian, as well as any Court, can create an account in a Pooled Trust to benefit the individual with a disability.
If all funds in the Pooled Trust account have not been spent by the time the individual with a disability dies, all remaining money becomes part of a charitable fund to benefit other people with disabilities in need.
ACHIEVA Family Trust operates the largest Pooled Trust in Pennsylvania and serves several people in other states. ACHIEVA Family Trust adds case management and social work expertise to the traditional role of corporate trustee.
Advantages of a Pooled Trust
- Can be established by the individual with a disability
- Trust accounts can be established quickly
- Protects assets from spend down
- Funds are pooled for investment
- No need for a successor trustees
- Limited or no start-up costs due to use of standard documents
Requirements of a Pooled Trust
- Created by an individual with a disability, by his or her parent, grandparent, or guardian or by a Court
- Trust is established and maintained by a nonprofit association
- Funds are pooled for investment but accounted for separately