What is a pooled trust?
The LIFE, Inc. “pooled trust” is a type of special needs trust that is designed to shelter surplus income or resources from Medicaid. By depositing your spend down into the trust, you remain/obtain Medicaid eligibility, and then you can use the money in your trust to pay your bills and living expenses.
How do I sign up?
It is very simple to set up a LIFE, Inc. Pooled Trust. You simply fill out the “Joinder Agreement Application”, sign it and have it notarized, and mail it to our office with the signup fee. You can send it in with a check in the amount of your spend down, and we can take the fee out of your spend down.
• You must mail us the original joinder agreement, not a copy.
• The signup fee can be paid by anyone, but the “spend down” must come from the Medicaid recipient themselves.
What happens after I set up the trust?
After we get the joinder application, we will process and establish your trust in 2 business days or less. Then, you will get a call from your specific trust counselor and they will walk you through the rest of the process. They will help you set up an ACH(electronic transfer) so your “spend down” will be met consistently month after month. This is optional, you can choose to write a check every month. They will help you set up any recurring bill payments. They will explain to you how to request other bills to be paid when that is needed.
How do I fund my account?
You fund your trust on a monthly basis. You can do this in 2 different ways. You can write a check every month for the surplus amount.
Or you can use our ACH option to enable to us automatically pull the amount directly our of your bank account every month. You can find our ACH form on the Income Trust page.
What is a “Trust Counselor”?
LIFE, Inc. offers a unique feature that most other trusts do not. We assign a dedicated representative to each case. So as the client, you will get the direct phone line and email address to your trust counselor. Anytime you have a question or concern you will call or email and speak with the same person every time. Your trust counselor will only talk to you and anyone else you have specified is allowed to discuss your case.
What is a “recurring bill”?
A recurring bill is a bill that we will pay month after month on the date in which you specify. You only need to tell us what the bill is once, and we will pay it every month automatically after that. This can be done with any bill that is the same amount every month. So for example, but not limited to, rent, utilities on “balanced billing”, cell phone, or any other bill that is the same every month.
How do I pay my other bills that are non-recurring?
Your trust counselor will walk you through this process when you set up your trust, and again anytime you need. You simply send us your bill, and the request form filled out and signed, and we will pay the bill. We guarantee to process all bill requests in 3 business days or less. Bills and request forms can be sent in by mail, email, or fax. Or if you live in the area, feel free to stop by and talk with your counselor.
What kind of bills am I allowed to request?
All pooled income trusts are guided by the same Medicaid laws. However, different cases call for different rules. Because of this, much of this section is not written in stone. You can call us to ask about specific bills you are going to want to pay. There are some things that we can never pay for such as alcohol, tobacco, firearms, gambling, life insurance, health insurance, gifts or donations. We can pay for most other expenses for our clients. Things we can always pay for are rent or mortgage, taxes, utilities, cable, phone bill, groceries, restaurants, clothes, credit card bills, and many other common charges. Pre-paid funeral expenses are also allowable.
How much does it cost?
We charge a signup fee of $300.00 ($450.00 for joint spousal trusts), an annual fee of $200.00 ($300.00 for joint spousal trusts), and a monthly fee which is dependent on your spend down amount. See the fee schedule in the income or asset trust tab
We do not require any minimum balance and the funds in your account can be accessed immediately after funding your account.
What happens when the trust client passes away? Where does the money go?
For our clients that have money in their account at the time of death, per Medicaid law, the money must go to a charity. LIFE, Inc. is partnered with At Risk Community Services, a non-profit that fights to improve the lives of lower income and underserved communities of NYC. You can find out more about ARCS here Link to ARCS.
Per Medicaid law, no pooled trust is allowed to pay bills or give the funds back to the family after the client passes away. However, because we pay bills so fast, and do not require any security deposit, there is rarely any money in the account at the time of death. And our trust counselors are always working with the clients to set up recurring bill payments so that right after the trust is funded, the funds are sent out to the client’s bills right away. Resulting in a low balance every month.
Can someone help me apply for Medicaid?
LIFE, Inc. does not provide assistance with Medicaid applications or any other related legal work. We do work with many professionals all over New York State that do. If you would like a recommendation on how to get assistance call Brian Lawrence at 516-330-3111
What if I already signed up with another trust, can I switch to LIFE?
You can! And it is very simple. Plus we waive all signup fees for trust “switchovers” (with proof of previous trust). You simply fill out our joinder agreement, and then cease funding your previous trust, and that same month you begin funding your life trust. There will be no gap in your Medicaid benefits.