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Estate and Elder Law

New Bill Would Help Special Needs Children of Military Retirees

If it becomes law, a new bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives will provide greater financial security to special needs children of retired military personnel. House Bill 4329, The Disabled Military Child Protection Act, would allow military retirees who participate in the Survivor Benefit Plan to ultimately place these funds in a Special Needs Trust for their child's benefit. The bill was introduced last month by Congressman Jim Moran (D-Virginia).

Under the existing system, a military retiree can put aside up to 55% of his monthly pension to be distributed in the form of a stipend to his survivors when he passes away. However, that stipend could disqualify a a child from receiving Social Security Disability and/or Medicaid benefits, since the government counts the stipend as income. Under the proposed law, military retirees participating in the Survivor Benefit Plan could have their retirement benefits transferred upon death to a Special Needs Trust for the benefit of a disabled child. Since the Special Needs Trust pays only for the beneficiary's supplemental care, the child's other government benefits would not be jeopardized.

Read more about The Disabled Military Child Protection Act. 

Read more about Special Needs Trusts. 

Attorney Joseph S. Karp is a Florida Bar Certified and Nationally Certified Elder Law Attorney focusing on Elder Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Special Needs Planning and Estate Litigation. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. Mr. Karp is the founder of The Karp Law Firm, a South Florida law firm with offices in Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach and St. Lucie, Florida.  Mr. Karp was named a 2011 SuperLawyer by SuperLawyer Magazine and a member of the 2011 Florida Legal Elite by Florida Trend Magazine. He is admitted to practice law in New York as well as Florida. Visit Mr. Karp's Florida Elder Law and Estate Planning website. 

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