Who We Are
Special Needs Trust Administration for People in New York
NYSARC Trust Services is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that administers first- and third-party special needs trusts and pooled trusts. Each year, we help thousands of people in all counties of New York protect monthly income and excess assets in order to qualify and maintain financial eligibility for means-tested government benefits, including Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Through the grants we award to Chapters of the Arc New York, our services further enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing the means to fund recreational opportunities, guardianship services, and more.
To improve the lives of people with disabilities by protecting their financial eligibility for
means-tested government benefits so that they can live at home and thrive in their community.
What We Do
Navigating the Demands of Preserving Benefit Eligibility
NYSARC is here to support you, your family, and professional partners in navigating the demands of preserving benefit eligibility and understanding the advantages of protecting funds with a pooled trust. We create opportunity for people with disabilities to thrive within their community and provide the means to make life-enhancing purchases that go beyond what their benefits may provide.
About The Arc New York
The Arc New York is a family-led non-profit organization that has provided services and advocacy to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1949. The organization established NYSARC Trust Services in 1972 and has since expanded its mission by administering supplemental needs trusts (SNT) for people of all ages with any type of disability as defined by Social Security law.
50 Years of Service
NYSARC Trust Services has been an industry-leading administrator of supplemental needs trusts and pooled trusts since 1972. Renowned for its knowledge of government benefits and compassionate team capable of supporting the needs of people with a range of disabilities.
NYSARC Trust Services History
Establishes the NYSARC Trust Unrestricted Fund
July 19, 1972 | NYSARC, Inc. established the NYSARC Trust Unrestricted Fund, a third party supplemental needs trust designed to help families have a way to leave money to their loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities and plan for their future needs without jeopardizing their financial eligibility for means-tested government benefits. Seven individuals, many of whom were past presidents of NYSARC, Inc., agreed to manage the funds and oversee trust investments as the original trustees.
Omnibus Reconciliation Act (OBRA '93) Payback Trusts
August 10, 1993 | OBRA’ 93 codified the right of persons with a disability to establish a trust to supplement the means-tested public benefits that they were otherwise eligible for, which laid the groundwork for the development of first party payback trusts and pooled trusts.
In that act, Congress provided that a corporation that serves people with disabilities could set up trusts and manage them. However, in New York only corporations with trust powers could act as trustees. So through legislative advocacy, NYSARC convinced the legislature to pass a statute that would allow corporations to administer special needs trusts if they partnered with a banking institution with trust powers as co-Trustee. Thus allowing non-profit organizations, like NYSARC, to administer SNTs as co-trustee alongside a financial institution, which paved the way for the development of pooled trusts in New York.
Establishes first pooled trust
April 19, 1997 | NYSARC Trust Services establishes Community Trust I, it’s original first-party pooled supplemental needs trust. NYSARC selects Chase Bank to serve as the co-trustee.
This trust allowed NYSARC to manage funds for people who needed to protect their own money for benefit eligibility purposes. Enabling people with excess assets to keep their benefits and pool those funds with others who are participating in the trust for management and investment purposes.
On May 15, 1997, the trust accepted it’s first beneficiary into the program.
Introduces pooled trust for excess monthly income
October 17, 2002 | NYSARC Trust Services becomes one of the first non-profit organizations in New York to administer a pooled trust to protect excess income so that qualifying adults could become financially eligible for Medicaid community health benefits and home care services.
This expanded the pool of individuals that could benefit from using the trust and the program grew exponentially. Today, it helps thousands of people with disabilities and older adults remain in their communities, living independently among family and loved ones for as long as possible, getting the care they need in the comfort of their own home.
Expands first-party trust options with Community Trust III
October 23, 2003 | NYSARC adds a new first-party pooled trust option for people who need to protect assets that are greater than $250K. This trust is commonly used when a person comes into a large windfall of money from a legal settlement or direct inheritance.
The benefit is that NYSARC does not always retain all of the money in an account when the beneficiary dies. This trust is like a hybrid between a pooled trust and an individual trust, because it allows for a potential remainder beneficiary if the amount left in the trust at death is greater than a person’s Medicaid lien/s.
Begins awarding individual grants with remainder funds
April 2, 2004 | Under the provisions of the law, when a beneficiary of a first party trust account dies, NYSARC could retain the funds left in the account rather than repaying that money to the State(s) that provided Medicaid services, as long as those funds were used to benefit people with disablities served by its philanthropic mission.
In 2004, the management board of trustees began to distribute these remainder funds through individual grants to meet the needs of people with disabilities who were receiving services through its regional Chapters throughout the State.
NYSARC selected to administer Third Party Agency Trust
January 26, 2006 | NYSARC was appointed to administer a Third Party Agency Trust (TPAT) on behalf of New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the New York State Office of Mental Health. When a New York State Agency receives payment of funds to satisfy a debt and agrees to settle these claims, the agencies have elected to deposit a portion of the debt payment into the TPAT for the lifetime benefit of the individual with disabilities.
This program has helped provide hundreds of people with supplemental services over and above the benefits they receive through government programs.
Begins individual special needs trust (d4a) administration
September 29, 2008 | As attorneys and families realized the benefits of professional non-profit trust administration and the need for an alternative to hiring a corporate trustee grew, NYSARC began to administer individual special needs trusts for families who did not have an appropriate person to serve as the trustee. Because NYSARC as an organization could not be the trustee, John Sherman, then CFO of NYSARC, Inc., agreed to serve as the trustee alongside JP Morgan Chase as the financial institution.
Today, NYSARC co-trustee Key Bank has taken on the administration of these trusts and serves as the trustee, while John Sherman remains a trustee of the NYSARC Trust and an active member of the Management Board of Trustees.
Awards annual grants to support unfunded guardianship program
April 1, 2009 | The NYSARC Trust Management Board of Trustees begin to distribute grants in order to support individuals throughout the State in need of guardianship services. Today this annual grant program funds one of the largest Corporate Guardianship programs in the country, which provides supports and services to more than 700 individuals who would otherwise have no legal Guardian.
Expands recreational grant program with annual awards to Arc New York Chapters
April 30, 2010 | As the trust grew, NYSARC decided to expand its remainder grant program so that those funds could benefit all of the individuals receiving services through its Chapters.
Today this grant program distributes annual grants to provide for unfunded programs and recreational opportunities to those served by Chapters of The Arc New York.
KeyBank selected as co-trustee
October 22, 2014 | Due to rapid growth and operational demands, NYSARC partners with a new financial institution, KeyBank, to serve as it’s co-trustee and assist with the financial management of trust assets.
KeyBank has nearly 200 years of fiduciary and wealth management experience and has been an excellent partner in serving our beneficiaries.
NYSARC offers administration of MSA accounts
January 1, 2016 | To assist Community Trust beneficiaries who receive a Medicare Set Aside as part of a court settlement, NYSARC begins to offer administration of MSA accounts. This enabled our pooled trust beneficiaries to protect these funds to be used to pay for future medical services related to their injury while enabling an individual to remain eligible for means-tested government benefits.
SNT Fairness act passed late in 2016
December 13, 2016 | Special Needs Trust Fairness Act passed into law, to allow individuals with disabilities with capacity to establish a special needs trust for themselves. Previously, in situations where a person needed to protect their own assets, this type of trust could only be established by the person’s parent, grandparent, or by a court, regardless of the individual’s capacity to do so.
The Arc New York honors NYSARC Trust Services Chairperson
October 2020 | NYSARC Trust Services Chairperson, Warren H. Heilbronner, Esq., was awarded The Arc New York Volunteer of the Year Award for his efforts to create an inclusive society where the people we support live truly integrated lives.
NYSARC establishes Third Party Community Trust
May 27, 2021 | NYSARC launches its first third party pooled trust program with a $10,000 minimum opening deposit to provide options to families who could benefit from professional trust administration or who do not have an appropriate person to appoint as the trustee of a special needs trust for their child. This trust gives families peace of mind knowing that someone will be there to provide financial support to their loved one when they are no longer able to and allows them to provide the means to improve their loved ones quality of life by paying for items and services that their public benefits do not cover.