Helping people with disabilities protect benefit eligibility since 1972




Q: What is a trust?

A: A trust is a legal agreement whereby you give your money to another person or an entity, such as a not-for-profit like NYSARC, Inc., called a trustee. The trustee manages the funds for the benefit of a person called the Beneficiary.

A supplemental needs trust (SNT) is a special type of trust designed to manage assets for people with disabilities. An SNT provides a way to set aside funds to enhance the quality of life of a person with a disability without risking that person's benefits under various government programs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and other means-tested government benefits. While participating in public benefit programs can make dramatic improvements to a person's quality of life, the funds in a trust can pay for life-enhancing and supplemental needs that public benefits do not provide.

NYSARC offers a full range of trust services including administration of third party trusts to benefit people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, first party pooled trusts, as well as first- and third-party individual trusts


Q: Who can benefit from your trust programs?

A: NYSARC Trust Services offers programs to assist individuals with any type of disability as defined by Social Security Law Section 1614(A)(3) [42 USC §1382C(A)(3)]. This includes anyone who is unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) for a period in excess of one year due to a medically determined physical or mental impairment/s.


Q: Do I need an attorney?

A: We encourage you to consult with an attorney or other professional before making a decision. However, depending on your situation an attorney may not be required to join one a NYSARC Community Trust.


Q: How do I know which trust will work best for my situation?

A: We offer information on each of our trust programs on this site and we are more than happy to work with you to create an individualized plan to meet your goals. You may also find this Trust Comparison Chart helpful.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact us and we will gladly help you determine the best trust to meet your individual needs.

Q: How quickly can I open a trust?

A: With benefits at risk, we understand the need to open a trust quickly. Most of our trusts can be opened within 48 hours. To expedite trust approvals, contact us as early as possible and we will work with you to get an account set up as quickly as possible.

Q: How do I establish a trust with NYSARC?

A: A pooled trust is easy and inexpensive to establish because approved trust documents are already in place. We encourage you to consult with an attorney, however depending on your situation you may not need an attorney to open a NYSARC Community Trust. 

To get started, simply download the Joinder Agreement (application) for the trust you are interested in from the Trust Documents section of our website. If you need assistance, please call our Beneficiary Support Team at (518) 439-8323.

To establish a NYSARC Trust (Unrestricted Fund) for a loved one or to create an individual trust, you will need to work with an attorney to draft a trust document. Contact us for more information.

Q: How much money do I need to establish a trust?

A: You can open a pooled trust with NYSARC for as little as $300.00. Our other trust programs require larger initial deposits. For more information, review this helpful Trust Comparison Chart.

Q: Are there other costs?

A: Depending on the trust you select, fees and other expenses may apply.

Our fees are significantly lower than a corporate trustee, such as a bank or financial institution. We pride ourselves on being transparent with no hidden fees or annual renewal fees. This low fee structure helps keep costs down for our Beneficiaries so that you can get the most benefit from your trust.

For more details, contact us! We will gladly clarify the specific fees for any trust you are interested in. 

Q: What happens to trust funds when the Beneficiary passes?

A: According to Federal law, a pooled SNT terminates upon the death of the Beneficiary. Any funds remaining in the trust at that time must be retained by the trust to further its mission or be paid back to the State(s) that provided Medicaid services in an amount equal to any lien.

However, we also offer trust programs that allow any funds, or a portion of the funds, that remain in a trust account upon the death of a Beneficiary to be distributed as designated within your trust agreement.

If you have questions about the trust you are considering, give us a call (518) 439-8323!

Q: Can the Beneficiary use all of the funds in their trust?

A: NYSARC encourages the use of trust funds to purchase appropriate, life-enhancing items and services. To get the most benefit from a trust, we recommend that you keep in contact with us so that we are aware of life changing events that may affect your trust. We can also help identify the best ways to use the money in your trust to improve your quality of life. 

Do you have other questions? Contact us!


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