With the creation of easy-access fundraising tools like “GoFundMe,” more and more people are inadvertently causing problems for the disabled person they are trying to help. Raising money for someone who depends on government programs like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) could cause the disabled person to go beyond income thresholds and jeopardize their access to services that they need.
Before collecting money for a disabled loved one, make sure that a proper Special Needs Trust has been established so that assets are not given directly to the person with special needs. Putting money into the Special Needs Trust will benefit the person, but will not disqualify him or her from government benefits.
It is important to note that donations are typically not tax deductible for the donor because the money is only being used for a particular person or family. Be sure to let potential donors know this in advance by explaining that the money donated will be treated as a gift to the Special Needs Trust.
As you can see, gathering donations for a person with special needs must be handled carefully. Be sure to do your homework and talk to an experienced Fairfax Virginia Special Needs Planning Attorney before you begin. If you would like help getting started, give the Law Office of Sheri R. Abrams a call at (571) 328-5795 to schedule an appointment.