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Pooled Trusts

Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services is a Special Needs Trust for persons with disabilities, established pursuant to Federal law, 42 U.S.C. §1396p (d)(4)(C). The Arc South Florida serves as the non-profit trustee of the Trust. Arc South Florida is proud to bring the Trust to persons with disabilities across South Florida.

Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services is about Quality of Life. By joining Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services, persons with disabilities may be able to preserve much-needed assets and still qualify for public benefit programs. Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services is established pursuant to Federal law, which authorizes persons with disabilities to preserve their assets in this way. The money placed in the Trust can still be used to improve a person’s quality of life. In essence, the money placed in the Trust can be used for anything that will not interfere with a person’s public benefits.

Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services is about Choice.  The ability of persons with disabilities to choose what services and products they wish to receive, rather than being told what they can receive. Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services is based, from the ground up, on the philosophy of self-determination by persons with disabilities. We believe that, whenever possible, persons with disabilities should make their own decisions on their care, treatment, living arrangements, and all other aspects of their lives. Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services is designed so that they can do just that.

Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services is about People. The persons and organizations involved in Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services have a long standing commitment to serving people with disabilities. Serving persons with disabilities is the central purpose of Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services. The trustee, the Family Network on Disabilities of Florida, serves hundreds of thousands of persons with disabilities across Florida every year. Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services embraces all persons with disabilities, of all ages, cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. To make the Trust accessible to as many persons as possible, there is no minimum deposit required.

 Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services Fills a Fundamental Need. Many public benefit programs for persons with disabilities are “means tested,” meaning that the assets and/or income of a person with disabilities will be taken into account in determining whether they qualify for benefits. However, under Federal law, a person with disabilities who places assets in a pooled trust such as Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services will not have those assets counted for benefits purposes. Trust assets will not be counted as an available resource, nor will interest on the assets be counted as income. The end result is that a person with disabilities who is a Beneficiary of Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services can continue receiving public benefits for meeting essential needs and still have resources available for their special, or supplemental, needs – to improve their quality of life. Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services allows persons with disabilities to avoid a “spend down” of their assets, while allowing them to qualify for public benefits.

Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services Operates for Persons with Disabilities. Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services offers significant value to Beneficiaries in addition to the primary benefit of protecting their public benefits and preserving their assets. This results from the fact that the funds of all of the Trust beneficiaries are pooled for investment and management purposes.

For example, a Beneficiary’s funds standing alone could never perform as well in the financial market as those funds will perform when strengthened by their addition to the pool of all the funds of all Beneficiaries. By virtue of its size alone, Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services can command better financial benefits from the market that are not available to smaller amounts of money.

Perhaps the most striking benefit, however, is that Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services offers Beneficiaries with even small amounts of money Trustee and money management services. With Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services, there is no minimum required deposit, and the annual fee is only a modest percentage of the fund. This means that, regardless of the amount a person with disabilities deposits into the Trust, sophisticated Trustee services are available.

Who Benefits from Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services?

The following list provides some examples of potential Trust Beneficiaries who may benefit from joining Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services.

  • Persons with disabilities.
  • Elderly persons.
  • Nursing home residents or soon-to-be nursing home residents.
  • Recipients of means tested government benefit programs, such as Medicaid or SSI.
  • Applicants for means tested government benefit programs.
  • Recipients of court awards, such as personal injury settlements who need to apply for, or protect, public benefits.
  • Recipients of an inheritance that would disqualify them from receiving public benefits.

Examples of How Trust Funds May Be Used

The list below illustrates some examples of the uses for which payments may be made out of the Trust.

  • Medical procedures not provided by government benefit programs.
  • Assistive technology for persons with disabilities.
  • Motorized wheelchairs, specially equipped vans, enhanced hearing and vision devices, and similar equipment to improve the quality of life of beneficiaries.
  • Care manager services.
  • Guardian Fees.
  • Attorney Fees.
  • Supplemental nursing care.
  • Medical procedures not provided through government assistance.
  • Differentials in housing costs between shared and private rooms.
  • Travel expenses.
  • Entertainment expenses.
  • Any other expense not provided by government benefit programs.

How Professionals Benefit from Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services

Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services offers clear benefit to all professionals, without regard to their specific profession. First and foremost, professionals have an additional resource available for helping clients augment or increase the level of care they receive and their quality of life.

The Trust is structured so that the client’s interests come first. This means that existing or anticipated professional relationships are not threatened or disrupted. For example, attorneys are often needed to provide independent legal counsel and to oversee the application process.

Also, professional guardians can avoid indigent cases by using the Trust to qualify wards for government assistance. When a ward becomes qualified, assets do not need to be spent down and trust funds are available for supplemental needs. Care managers can also benefit because trust funds can potentially be used for their services.

Money Managers and Custodians

Arc South Florida retains professional money managers and custodians to handle the assets placed in Arc South Florida Pooled Trust Services. These managers and custodians are very experienced in handling special needs trusts and in dealing with the requirements of special needs trust beneficiaries. They work closely with the Administrator of the Trust in making distributions in a timely manner.

Assistive Technology Assessments

Assistive technology, whether simple, complex, or in between, can have a dramatic impact on the lives of persons with disabilities. Many of the strides made in the ability of persons with disabilities to lead independent lives have resulted in the tremendous advances in assistive technology in recent years.

For this reason, the Trust strongly encourages all beneficiaries to obtain an assistive technology assessment when they join the Trust. The assessment, conducted by trained professionals, takes into account a beneficiary’s individual circumstances. It results in specific recommendations for assistive technology that can be utilized by a beneficiary to improve their quality of life.

This step is part of the commitment by the Trust to improve the quality of the lives of our beneficiaries to the greatest extent possible.