Special Needs Trusts

Helping to protect benefit eligibility.

The AHRC New York City Foundation offers two types of pooled special needs trusts.

  • Community Trust I allows family members to set aside money for a loved one who has a disability without affecting the loved one’s eligibility for government benefits.
  • Community Trust II allows a person with a disability to preserve his or her own assets (derived, for example, from a legal settlement, inheritance or lump-sum benefit payment) while maintaining eligibility for government entitlements.

They are known as “pooled” trusts because the funds of all beneficiaries are invested together.  However, the funds are accounted for separately, with each beneficiary having his or her own sub-account within the trust.

Each beneficiary’s principal and income are available to him or her during the beneficiary’s lifetime.  In general, disbursements may be made for “extras” that are not covered by government entitlements but that enhance the beneficiary’s quality of life. These may include, for example, clothing, vacations, electronics, gym memberships or hobbies and interests.

Decisions regarding investments, disbursements, fees and other trust matters are made by five trustees appointed by the AHRC New York City Foundation Board of Directors. The funds are invested in a balanced portfolio at Wilmington Trust.

The minimum contribution to either trust is $10,000.