What is a pooled trust?
A pooled trust is a type of Supplemental Needs Trust that is designed to shelter surplus income or resources from Medicaid. By depositing your spend down amount in the trust, you remain Medicaid-eligible and you can use the funds in the trust to pay your own bills.
How do I sign up?
To sign up for the LIFE Trust, fill out the Joinder Agreement completely, sign and have your signature notarized. You must mail in the original copy of the Joinder Agreement, along with the sign-up fee, to the LIFE Trust office. It’s that simple!
How do I fund my account?
You can fund your trust by depositing the surplus amount, as determined by Medicaid. There are three methods by which you can fund the trust account monthly. The first is to write out a personal check for the surplus amount and mail it in. The second is to set up Automatic Bill Pay through your bank. With your authorization, your bank will cut a check to LIFE for the surplus amount each month and mail it to our office. The third payment option is to use the Automatic Debit service. This authorizes the LIFE Trust to transfer the surplus amount from the client’s account into the trust account monthly. Click here to fill out the form to set up Auto Debit service.
What happens once I fund?
Once you fund the trust, you can start to make distributions. There are two types of distributions. A recurring distribution allows you to set up automatic payments to be made in the same amount and on the same date every month. The Recurring Distribution Form, along with the corresponding bill (or lease agreement) must be sent in only once in order to set up the payment. This type of distribution is ideal for bills like rent or mortgage, or utility bills that are on balanced budgeting. A regular Monthly Distribution Form should be used for bills that vary in amount each month. This form, along with the corresponding bill, should be sent in every month. LIFE guarantees that all bills will be paid within two business days of request.
What kind of bills can I pay?
There is a wide range of allowable expenses that can be paid through the trust. All bills must be specifically for the benefit of the client, and not for any third-party, like a friend or family member. Clients can pay rent or mortgage, taxes, utilities, cable and phone bills, credit cards and many other common bills. Trust funds can also be used to pay for vacations, furniture, and appliances regardless of cost, so long as it is for the benefit of the client and the funds are available at the time of request. Irrevocable pre-paid funeral expenses are also allowable. The trust cannot pay for life insurance, health insurance, tobacco, alcohol, illegal activity (including parking and traffic tickets), or give gifts from the trust funds.
How do I send you my bills?
You can send bills, along with the corresponding Distribution Form, by e-mail, fax or mail. E-mails should be sent to your assigned Trust Counselor’s e-mail address. Faxes can be sent to (516) 374-4654. Mail can be sent to 112 Spruce Street, Suite 5, Attn: Trust Department, Cedarhurst, NY 11516.
What happens when a Beneficiary passes away?
Pursuant to recent changes in Federal Law, we are required to change their policy regarding funds remaining in the Beneficiary’s account after death. Effective immediately, LIFE, Inc. can no longer make any payments from the Beneficiary’s account to any third party after the Beneficiary’s death.
LIFE, Inc. Trusts had previously allowed the Beneficiary’s agent up to 90 days to submit eligible expenses incurred before the death of the Beneficiary. Going forward, federal policy will no longer allow us to do so. No disbursement requests will be accepted after the Beneficiary’s death. All funds that remain in the trust account on the date of death shall remain with the Trust, and used to further the Trust’s purpose. The funds will be utilized for programs that benefit the developmentally disabled population.
Due to the new regulations, we encourage all Beneficiaries to expend the funds in their account as expeditiously as possible. Click here to read the Policy on Funds Paid After Beneficiary’s Death.
Can I transfer to the LIFE Trust from another trust?
Absolutely! Any client who wants to transfer to the LIFE Trust from another New York State pooled trust may do by filling out the Joinder Agreement and mailing it in to our Cedarhurst address. Also, if you send us proof that you are transferring from another trust, we will waive the $300 sign-up fee.