Simplifying Pooled Income Trusts For Disabled New Yorkers

Every New Yorker knows that the cost of living in the city is high. What might cover one person's monthly expenses in another state wouldn't come close in New York.

When it comes to Medicaid benefits, such as home care for the disabled, New York has a unique solution.

In New York, instead of being disqualified for exceeding the monthly income limit, residents can keep their excess income in what is called a pooled income trust while still receiving public assistance.

What Is A Pooled Income Trust?

A pooled trust is similar to a bank account: The assets of many people are pooled together while individual accounts remain segregated. Individuals can access their funds for qualifying expenses, which include:

  • Housing costs
  • Supplemental nursing care
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Medical expenses
  • Living expenses ranging from food to entertainment
  • Attorney and guardian fees
  • Additional expenses may qualify, based on the needs of the individual

What Expenses Are Not Allowed?

While the assets belong to the disabled individual, there are strict rules on how the assets in a pooled income trust are spent. Nonallowable expenses include:

  • Gifts
  • Child support
  • Expenses for friends or family members
  • Income taxes (without an established exception)

What Is The Maximum Income To Qualify?

Medicaid, the provider of home care benefits, has decided that recipients can receive a maximum income of about $860 per month to qualify as low-income individuals. Anyone with monthly income above that is disqualified, unless they participate in a pooled income trust.

How Do You Enroll In A Pooled Income Trust?

These trusts, operated by nonprofit organizations across New York, offer wide ranges of minimums and fees. Selecting the right organization will require research and, ideally, advice from someone with experience in Medicaid.

Having a lawyer from Polizzotto & Polizzotto with significant experience working with Medicaid can increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Contact us today for a consultation.