November 4, 2022 by Sarah

What is a pooled trust?

Established under Section 1917(D)(4)(C) of the Social Security Act 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(d)(4)(C), a pooled trust is managed by a non-profit organization such as NYSARC, Inc. (dba The Arc New York) and contains the assets of many different individuals, each held in separate sub-trust accounts.

A pooled trust is typically needed to protect a person with disabilities’ access to means-tested government benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), while also preserving future eligibility for services.

Benefits even under age 65

A pooled trust is quick and inexpensive to establish and maintain – making it a great option for clients even under the age of 65. It also offers the benefits of professional trust administration at an affordable cost.

Income Spend-downs and Medicaid Eligibility

The NYSARC, Inc. Community Trust II program helps older adults and people with disabilities who have a Medicaid income spend-down and/or resources that exceed the Medicaid financial limits.

By depositing the Medicaid spend-down into a pooled trust, your clients can access Medicaid services while being able to afford their monthly living expenses to maintain comfort in the community. This trust can benefit clients who are seeking Community Medicaid for home care, to enroll in a managed long-term care plan (MLTC) or self-direct care through a Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), as well as other Medicaid waiver programs (TBI, NHTD, OPWDD, etc.)

  • $200 one-time enrollment fee (must establish with a minimum of $300)
  • Monthly fees based on spend-down deposit (starting at $30/month)
  • $50 tax and audit fee charged annually in July

For more information, review the documents for Community Trust II.

Asset Protection and Government Benefits

The NYSARC, Inc. Community Trust I and Community Trust III programs also assist people with disabilities who come into a windfall of money, either as a lump sum or structured payments. Instead of being forced to spend-down these funds quickly, your clients are able to use the funds throughout their lifetime to provide for items and services not covered by government benefits and purchases that are purely life-enhancing.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $300 (CTI) / $250,000 (CTIII)
  • Monthly fees calculated on balance (starting at $20/month)
  • $25 tax and audit fee charged annually in July
  • Dedicated team of representatives assigned to each beneficiary

For more information, review the documents for Community Trust I and/or Community Trust III.

How to enroll in a pooled trust?

Listed below are the items currently required when submitting an application:

  • Completed and notarized Joinder Agreement
  • Copy of Social Security Card and Social Security Award letter indicating benefit type and claim number
  • OR SSA-1099 form (if provided, you do not need to send the SS card and award letter)
  • Copy of POA or Guardianship if Joinder Agreement signed by agent or guardian
  • Copy of Court Order, if established pursuant to court order
  • Minimum of $300.00 to fund (by electronic deposit or check made payable to NYSARC Inc. Community Trust fbo [Beneficiary’s Name])

For more information, please reference these detailed instructions on how to enroll.

Who can establish a pooled trust?

Under the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act (2016), a person with a disability can now create a trust on their own behalf using their own assets provided that they have the capacity to sign a legal document. Under current law, a parent, grandparent, legal guardian, agent under Power of Attorney, or court can also establish a first-party special needs trust to hold the beneficiary’s assets.

The person or entity establishing the trust with the assets of the legally competent individual with a disability or transferring the assets of the individual to the trust must have legal authority to act with respect to the assets of the individual.

For more information, call (518) 439-8323 and we would be happy to assist you!

Disclaimer: This content is intended for educational purposes only and shall not constitute the provision of professional legal, tax or other advice. NYSARC, Inc. shall have no liability for errors, incorrect information, or inapplicability of information provided to any particular person/reader.

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Latham, NY 12110
Phone: (518) 439-8323 Fax: (518) 439-2670
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