Women Helping Women: Smart Resources for Women with Special Needs Children

Women helping women: Smart Resources for Women with Special Needs Children  

Written by Karen A. Miller, CFP®, CPFA on 09 April 2019


In our last blog, we began a discussion of some resources and options for women who are providing care to their loved ones. Today, we’ll focus in on resources and tools for women with special needs children, because we know that these moms worry like no others.


Government resources

There are many resources in place to help provide medical and other benefits for children with special healthcare needs:

  1. Social Security may provide disability benefits for children under 18 with mental or physical conditions that severely limit their abilities (visit socialsecurity.gov)
  2. In many states, children receiving Social Security benefits are automatically eligible to receive Medicaid benefits as well (check with your state’s Medicaid office—in California, this is MediCal)
  3. The Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program requires states not only to give periodic well child screenings for every child on Medicaid, but also to pay for any medically necessary treatments whether or not they are covered by the state’s Medicaid plan
  4. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, your child may still qualify for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP—coverage varies so contact your state’s Medicaid office for more information)


Special needs trusts

It is possible to use a special needs trust (also known as a supplemental needs trust) to help provide for your child’s future without endangering their government benefits.


The basics

Potential advantages


Assets belonging to your special needs child—funds, financial assets, property and more, whether from an inheritance, lawsuit settlement, or from loved ones—are placed into trust.



The beneficiary named in the trust can receive a residence or funds to use as they need, while retaining their eligibility for government assistance.


Can also reduce the size of the trust grantor’s taxable estate.

Select a trustee with the experience of providing the special administration these trusts require, in order to help manage and preserve these critically important assets for these worthy beneficiaries.


Depending on the type of special needs trust, remaining funds after the beneficiary’s death may either pass to family or may be used to reimburse the government for the costs of care.



Other tools

Another option to help protect your child is a guardianship. Designed to provide financial protection for those who may be too young, too disabled or too vulnerable to financial exploitation or mismanagement to manage their own finances, a guardianship can help protect your child when you are no longer able to do so. Of course, with this type of tool, like with trustees, it is often best to select a professional to be the guardian.



Gasber Financial doesn’t give legal advice, but we can work with your attorney to help you to design and implement trusts and guardianships that can help you to protect and provide for your children.