This week I learned about Mary. Mary has had a trust with The Disability Foundation for just a few months. Recently she requested a distribution to repair her windows and roof. She asked if she could use the trust to get a new stove as hers has been broken for many years? Of course, the answer was yes! This kind of story makes me stop and think about the impact of what we do here.

People find us in many different ways. In Mary’s case , she was the recipient of an unfortunate medical mistake court financial settlement. Although the size of the settlement was relatively small, her attorney was aware that since Mary is dependent upon public assistance, the financial gain could make her ineligible for her Medicaid and SSI benefits; losing her health insurance. The attorney was familiar with the Pooled Trusts we offer so he recommend her to us. Mary set up a Flexible Spending Trust, which allowed for her to deposit the settlement proceeds without fear of losing her benefits. Now, she has money to repair her home and have a few extras in life that she has not been able to afford. She cannot only make repairs to her home, get that stove she needs, but also perhaps take a short vacation to visit some distant relatives or maybe get cable television.

When I think about it, these “extras” are things many of us take for granted in our lives. Being able to pay for some dental work, replace broken eyeglasses, buy that nice sweater we saw in the store, and much more. In many cases, trusts a critical in obtaining a wheel chair van or having modifications done to a home to allow access for someone who lives with a mobility disability.

Mary’s story demonstrates the value of pooled trusts that helps our community every day. In the 1990’s our federal government, followed by our state legislators recognized that something had to be done. Before the advent of Pooled Trust legislation, parents were often advised to disinherit their children to protect them from losing the security net of Medicaid. I am sure Mary is grateful for their work.

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