Chapter 402 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri authorized the Missouri Family Trust Fund to provide benefits that supplement public assistance for persons with a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, whether the impairment is congenital or acquired by accident, injury or disease; and where the impairment is verified by medical findings. The Missouri Family Trust, now doing business as Midwest Special Needs Trust, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency established by legislation (402.199 RSMo). Trusts established by Midwest Special Needs are pooled special needs trust as described in Section 42 U.S.C. 1396p(d)(4)(C).
The Midwest Special Needs Trust (MSNT) provides a method for relatives and other individuals or entities to contribute to the supplemental care of disabled persons. Cash and other liquid assets in the form of stocks or bonds, money market funds and treasury bills may be contributed to the trust. Also, receipts from insurance policies, annuities, or settlements may be used.
The money in an msnt account is not considered as an available resource for the beneficiary. Distributions made to meet living and health care needs, to supplement, but not replace, the basic support provided by state government and other governmental programs, is not considered as income to the beneficiary.
Trusts with MSNT are administered as one trust fund; however, separate accounts are established for each individual. Two types of trusts are available.
- A third party trust where the resources used to establish the trust are not those of the individual (i.e., resources are provided by someone other than the individual or his/her spouse.)
- A first party trust (self-settled trust) where the resources used to establish the trust are those of the individual. Upon the death of the individual, the State has the right to claim remaining proceeds in the trust to offset medical expenses incurred by the State. Contributions to the MSNT are not considered transfers of property by the disabled individual when the person is under the age of 65.
- NOTE: Funds transferred to a first party MSNT for an individual age 65 and over are subject to a transfer penalty upon admittance to a long term care facility.
All trust documents are to be sent as an attachment with a Request for Interpretation of Policy (IM-14) form through the proper supervisory channels for Income Maintenance programs. Program and Policy staff will review to determine availability to the applicant or participant of the resources held in the trust.