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Getting a Money Settlement While on Government Benefits – Part 1

                We get quite a few calls from attorneys who have settled cases or obtained judgments in favor of their clients to compensate them for pain and suffering resulting from slip and falls, car accidents, medical malpractice etc.  The amount recovered might be small – say $10,000.  In other cases it could be substantial – $1,000,000 or more.   In each case the attorneys have brought the matter to a successful conclusion – no doubt getting the very best result they can for their clients.  So, why are they reaching out to me?

                The reason is that in many cases their clients are receiving needs based government benefits.   Receipt of the settlement proceeds will in each case cause their clients to lose those benefits.  Often the attorney has no idea this could be an issue when he/she took the case.  Now the client is understandably concerned about losing the benefit which just might have a major impact on his/her well being.

                What if anything can we do?  Placing the proceeds in a special needs trust may be the solution but that won’t work for everyone and even if it is a possible answer it still may not be desirable or necessary.  Next week I’ll go into greater detail and explain why.