When a child with special needs turns 18, he or she may be able to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which provides benefits for disabled adults with limited income and resources.

How much money the disabled individual is eligible to receive depends on a number of factors, including his or her living situation.  Under the Social Security Administration’s current guidelines, anyone who receives SSI must pay for their own food and shelter costs in order to receive the current maximum benefit amount of $783.

But what about an adult child who still lives with mom or dad for free? In that case the SSI benefit will normally be reduced 1/3 of the $783 monthly benefit.

There is a way to avoid this reduction, however. The adult disabled child can pay rent to their parents. Using a written agreement, a monthly amount for room and board will be paid from the child’s SSI benefit to the parents.

Many times, the parents will turn around and take this rent money each month and use it to fund a Third-Party Special Needs Trust for the benefit of their adult disabled child. A Third-Party Special Needs Trust is a special legal document that holds assets on behalf of the person with special needs, without causing him or her to lose eligibility for benefits like SSI or Medicaid.

By investing the funds this way month after month, parents can watch their child’s Third Party Special Needs Trust grow, which provides the peace of mind of knowing that resources are continuously being set aside for their child’s future care needs.

What Option Is Best for My Family?

Because there is no “one-size-fits-all” special needs planning approach, it’s best to meet with an attorney who specializes in these matters to go over all of your options. This will provide your family with a road map to receiving the maximum amount of benefits and resources possible, while ensuring there are additional safety nets in place for your child’s long-term protection and security.

If you’d like to start the conversation, please call the Law Offices of Sheri R. Abrams at  (571) 328-5795.

Original article: Does My Child Have to Pay Rent to Receive the Maximum SSI Benefits?

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