Joining West Virginia PACE Trust Fund
The West Virginia PACE Trust Fund respects the important life decisions that affect you or a person you love (i.e. Finances), and understand that you may feel overwhelmed. While you do not need an individual trust agreement drafted by an attorney to join the fund, the WV PACE Trust Fund strongly recommends consulting with an attorney who is knowledgeable in special needs trusts. This may help to ensure that a pooled supplemental needs trust is the right choice for your circumstances.
An attorney can review the West Virginia PACE Trust Fund agreements with you, and answer any questions you may have. Here are some questions we find helpful to ask your attorney when planning for the future:
- What impact will this have on my benefits if I keep the money? (Have documentation of the types of benefits you receive to show your attorney.)
- Other than placing the money in a trust account what can I do with it?
- When do I have to make my decision?
- If I am going to put my funds in a pooled trust account…
- How do I get the things/services I need?
- How long do trust disbursements take?
- How are my funds invested?
- After my death, if there are remaining assets in the trust what happens to them?
To learn more about the West Virginia PACE Trust, contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Top Questions Asked by Beneficiaries and Their Advocates:
How are special needs trust helpful and why do I need one?
People with disabilities that have resources less than $2000 are able to receive certain government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A special needs trust allows those with a disability to keep their government benefits while receiving financial support.
Additional funds are kept safe in a special needs trust and can be used to purchase things that improve quality of life – as long as they don’t affect government benefits. It is the trustee’s job to manage and protect the individual’s funds, make money available for approved expenses, and ensure that they remain eligible for government benefits.
Does the trust decide what I can do with my money?
In order to have a special needs trust, you have to agree to give up control of your money. This means that the trustee is legally in charge of your money and how it is spent. The law also requires the trustee to approve purchases you want to make with the trust funds. We understand that this can be frustrating at times, but it is important that we do so to protect your government benefits. In situations where we, unfortunately, have to say ‘no’ we will do our best to find a solution to get you the things that you need.
What will the trust do with my money?
After your money is placed in the special needs pooled trust, we are required to invest it. It is invested so that you can earn additional income. Please remember that while it is being invested you can still use your money to purchase things to improve your quality of life.
We work with True Link Financial Advisors, LLC to invest the assets maintained in the trust. As trustees, we identify the appropriate investment portfolio to meet your needs.
How does the trust know what my needs are?
When you join the West Virginia PACE Trust Fund, we will learn about some of your needs from your attorney. However, we always like to learn more about you. It is important for us to know and understand your unique circumstances so we can provide you with the best support possible.
For us to best understand your needs we recommend that you create a “spending plan” with us. A spending plan is similar to a monthly budget. The spending plan should tell us how much money you spend monthly and what you buy. Creating this spending plan can help make the money distribution process a lot easier so you can receive your money faster.
If you need to create a spending plan or share more information about your needs, you can contact the West Virginia PACE Trust Fund at 304-983-7223 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please feel free to contact us if your needs change in any way!
What can my trust pay for? What rules do I need to follow?
The West Virginia PACE Trust Fund can pay for things that improve your quality of life – as long as they don’t harm your government benefits. There are a few rules that we must follow, required by law, in order to do this.
- We can only purchase things for you.
Your trust fund can only be used to pay for things for you, as the beneficiary of the trust. This means that they cannot be used to buy things for family members, friends, partners, or anyone else.
- You have no direct access to funds.
You cannot take money out of your trust or access the funds by yourself. If you need to pay for something with trust funds, you must tell us and get approval. The West Virginia PACE Trust Fund will then process the payment. We also cannot send a check directly to you.
- There is no cash distributed.
We cannot give you cash. If you need to buy something that requires cash, please let us know so we can find another solution.
- Sometimes we will allow reimbursements.
If you buy something using cash, a check, or a debit card, we cannot reimburse you for that service/ item. If a beneficiary advocate or caregiver buys something for you, we may be able to reimburse that person. They will have to submit a reimbursement request and an invoice or receipt to find out if they are eligible for reimbursement.
- In general, we can’t pay for food, housing, or utilities.
A special needs trust is designed to pay for things that are not covered by your government benefits. If we pay for things that are covered, your benefits could be reduced, or worse you could lose your benefits altogether. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the trust will typically not pay for food, housing, or utilities. However, there may be some circumstances when it makes sense for The West Virginia PACE Trust Fund to pay for these things – even if your benefits are reduced. We will consider these situations very carefully.
Examples of things we typically cannot pay for, if you receive SSI:
- Garbage Removal
- Heating / Fuel
- Mortgage (including property insurance)
- Real Property Taxes
6. We can pay for things that improve your quality of life.
The West Virginia PACE Trust Fund can provide money for “supplemental needs” that improve your quality of life. Examples of things we can pay for:
- Auto Maintenance
- Club Membership
- Educational Programs
- Entertainment (E.g., Movies, Concert Tickets)
- Fitness Equipment
- Health Needs That Are Not Covered By Your Benefits
- Home Modifications
- Laundry And Dry Cleaning
- Linens, Bedding
- Mobility Equipment
- Music Lessons, Instruments
- Personal Care Items
- Pets And Pet Supplies
- Phone Bill
- Pre-Need Burial Expenses
- Private Nurse
- Salon Services (E.G., Hair, Nails)
- Stationery And Stamps
- Stereos And Electronics
- Television And Cable Bills
- Transportation Costs
- Travel For Your Sole Benefit
- Yard Service
*If a family member is acting as your caretaker, additional documentation may be needed; please contact The West Virginia PACE Trust Fund for more information
How do I put in a request for funds?
To request funds, you or your advocate will need to submit a disbursement request form. This form will tell the trust what item/ service you want and how much it will cost. The form can be submitted to the West Virginia PACE Trust Fund by email (email@example.com), by fax (304) 983-2441, or by mail (889 Mylan Park Lane, Morgantown, WV 26501).
Along with the distribution request form, you will also need to provide documentation that verifies the cost of the item or service. This can be an invoice, receipt, statement, or other formal documentation. This helps the trust to be able to approve your request. If you cannot provide us with this documentation please contact us.
When a request is submitted for something unusual or very expensive we recommend you turn in the distribution request form as soon as possible. These types of requests could take more time to process.
What are my options for paying with my trust fund?
There are several ways that items and services can be paid for. Please speak with the West Virginia PACE Trust Fund to determine which way(s) are right for you.
1. We pay the merchant directly
You or your beneficiary advocate can submit a distribution request for a specific item or service, and the West Virginia PACE Trust Fund will pay the merchant directly.
EXAMPLE: You find a book you want on Amazon.com and submit a distribution request to the West Virginia PACE Trust Fund. You can provide a web link, so we know exactly how much the book costs. The West Virginia PACE Trust Fund approves the request and then buys the book for you on Amazon.com.
2. Credit card
You or your beneficiary advocate can use a credit card to pay for approved expenses. You will then submit the credit card statement and receipts to the West Virginia PACE Trust Fund. We will only pay for the portion of the bill of approved items. You will need to pay for the rest of the bill.
EXAMPLE: Using your credit card, you buy a new coat at Macy’s, movie tickets, and groceries. You send the credit card statement and receipts to us. The trust reviews the purchases and approves the coat and movie tickets – but not the groceries. The trust then sends a check to the credit card company for the cost of the coat and movie tickets. You pay the remainder of the bill, which covers the cost of the groceries.
3. True Link Card
The True Link Visa Prepaid Card is a reloadable Visa Prepaid card that can be used by beneficiaries and beneficiary advocates. It is a way for you to receive money directly onto a card and use the card to pay for approved items/services. If you have pre-approved expenses that occur every month, you can automatically get money loaded onto your True Link Card to pay for them. You can also use the card for one-time requests. Please contact the West Virginia PACE Trust Fund to learn more about this option.
EXAMPLE: Every month, you take a drawing class that costs $20. This is a pre-approved expense included in your spending plan. On the day before your class, The PACE Trust Fund automatically loads $20 onto your True Link Card.
How can I make sure that my benefits are safe?
What do I do with the letter I received from Social Security?
If you receive a letter from Social Security or any correspondence about your government benefits, please let us know immediately by calling us at 304-983-7223. If possible please fax (304) 983-2441 or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) the letter for us to review. This information may be relevant to your eligibility for public benefits as they pertain to your special needs trust.
Should I let you know if my address or phone number changes?
Yes, please do! Let us know if your personal situation changes in any way. Making us aware will help us make sure your needs are met. Contact Us.