The fight is on to have the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act become law. The Act has won a victory in the Senate, but supporters need to contact their representatives in Washington and tell them how important this act is to make it out of a House subcommittee.
Special Needs Trusts (SNT's) are commonly used for people with disabilities by their parents or grandparents. SNT's allow assets to be protected and ensure that the special needs individual will have the resources needed when their parents are no longer living and providing for their financial support.
However, if a person with special needs wants to set up their own SNT, it cannot be done without first going to court and going through a long, complex process to get permission. This is because the Social Security Act provision that allows for these trusts states that only a person’s parents or grandparents can create the trust. So, disabled people without living relatives are further legally disabled and face a long, uphill battle to create SNT's.
Thus, it was a resounding victory for people with special needs when the Senate unanimously passed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act that would allow people to create the trusts for themselves.
Special Needs Answers reported this development in “Senate Passes Special Needs Trust Fairness Act; Focus Shifts to House.”
Unfortunately, this legislation may be stuck in a House subcommittee. It is not expected to make it out of committee without additional support. People who are interested in seeing this legislation passed should contact their representatives and encourage support of the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act.
Reference: Special Needs Answers (September 24, 2015) “Senate Passes Special Needs Trust Fairness Act; Focus Shifts to House.”