Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd. • Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3646 • Fax (405) 521-6684 • Internet: www.okdhs.org
 
317:35-5-41.6. Trust accounts
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Revised 12-13-12

 

     Monies held in trust for an individual applying for or receiving SoonerCare must have the availability of the funds determined. Funds held in trust are considered available when they are under the direct control of the individual or his/her spouse, and disbursement is at their sole discretion. Funds may also be held in trust and under the control of someone other than the individual or his/her spouse, such as the courts, agencies, other individuals, etc., or the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

  • (1) Availability determinations. The worker should be able to determine the availability of a trust using the definitions and explanations listed in (2) of this subsection. However, in some cases, the worker may wish to submit a trust to the OKDHS State Office for determination of availability.  In these instances, all pertinent data is submitted to Family Support Services Division, Attention: Health Related and Medical Services Section, for a decision.
  • (2) Definition of terms. The following words and terms, when used in this paragraph, have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
    • (A) Beneficiary. Beneficiary means the person(s) who is to receive distributions of either income or principal, or on behalf of whom the trustee is to make payments.
    • (B) Corpus/principal. Corpus/principal means the body of the trust or the original asset used to establish the trust, such as a sum of money or real property.
    • (C) Discretionary powers. Discretionary powers means the grantor gives the trustee the power to make an independent determination whether to distribute income and/or principal to the beneficiary(ies) or to retain the income and add it to the principal of the trust.
    • (D) Distributions. Distributions means payments or allocations made from the trust from the principal or from the income produced by the principal (e.g., interest on a bank account).
    • (E) Grantor (trustor/settlor). Grantor (trustor/settlor) means the individual who establishes the trust by transferring certain assets.
    • (F) Irrevocable trust. Irrevocable trust means a trust in which the grantor has expressly not retained the right to terminate or revoke the trust and reclaim the trust principal and income.
    • (G) Pour over or open trust. Pour over or open trust means a trust which may be expanded from time to time by the addition to the trust principal (e.g., a trust established to receive the monthly payment of an annuity, a workers' compensation settlement, a disability benefit or other periodic receivable). The principal may accumulate or grow depending upon whether the trustee distributes the receivable or permits it to accumulate. Generally, the terms of the trust will determine the availability of the income in the month of receipt and the availability of the principal in subsequent months.
    • (H) Primary beneficiary. Primary beneficiary means the first person or class of persons to receive the benefits of the trust.
    • (I) Revocable trust. Revocable trust means a trust in which the grantor has retained the right to terminate or revoke the trust and reclaim the trust principal and income.  Unless a trust is specifically made irrevocable, it is revocable. Even an irrevocable trust is revocable upon the written consent of all living persons with an interest in the trust.
    • (J) Secondary beneficiary. Secondary beneficiary means the person or class of persons who will receive the benefits of the trust after the primary beneficiary has died or is otherwise no longer entitled to benefits.
    • (K) Testamentary trust. Testamentary trust means a trust created by a will and effective upon the death of the individual making the will.
    • (L) Trustee. Trustee means an individual, individuals, a corporation, court, bank or combination thereof with responsibility for carrying out the terms of the trust.
  • (3) Documents needed.  To determine the availability of a trust for an individual applying for or receiving SoonerCare, copies of the following documents are obtained:
    • (A) Trust document;
    • (B) When applicable, all relevant court documents including the Order establishing the trust, Settlement Agreement, Journal Entry, etc.; and
    • (C) Documentation reflecting prior disbursements (date, amount, purpose).
  • (4) Trust accounts established on or before August 10, 1993.  The rules found in (A) - (C) of this paragraph apply to trust accounts established on or before August 10, 1993.
    • (A) Support trust. The purpose of a support trust is the provision of support or care of a beneficiary. A support trust will generally contain language such as "to provide for the care, support and maintenance of ...", "to provide as necessary for the support of ...", or "as my trustee may deem necessary for the support, maintenance, medical expenses, care, comfort and general welfare." Except as provided in (i)-(iii) of this subparagraph, the amount from a support trust deemed available to the beneficiary is the maximum amount of payments that may be permitted under the terms of the trust to be distributed to the beneficiary, assuming the full exercise of discretion by the trustee(s) for distribution of the maximum amount to the beneficiary. The beneficiary of a support trust, under which the distribution of payments to the beneficiary is determined by one or more trustees who are permitted to exercise discretion with respect to distributions, may show that the amounts deemed available are not actually available by:
      • (i) Commencing proceedings against the trustee(s) in a court of competent jurisdiction;
      • (ii) Diligently and in good faith asserting in the proceedings that the trustee(s) is required to provide support out of the trust; and
      • (iii) Showing that the court has made a determination, not reasonably subject to appeal, that the trustee must pay some amount less than the amount deemed available.  If the beneficiary makes the showing, the amount deemed available from the trust is the amount determined by the court.  Any action by a beneficiary or the beneficiary's representative, or by the trustee or the trustee's representative, in attempting a showing to make the Agency or the State of Oklahoma a party to the proceeding, or to show to the court that SoonerCare benefits may be available if the court limits the amounts deemed available under the trust, precludes the showing of good faith required.
    • (B) Medicaid Qualifying Trust (MQT). A Medicaid Qualifying Trust is a trust, or similar legal device, established (other than by will) by an individual or an individual's spouse, under which the individual may be the beneficiary of all or part of the distributions from the trust and such distributions are determined by one or more trustees who are permitted to exercise any discretion with respect to distributions to the individual. A trust established by an individual or an individual's spouse includes trusts created or approved by a representative of the individual (parent, guardian or person holding power of attorney) or the court where the property placed in trust is intended to satisfy or settle a claim made by or on behalf of the individual or the individual's spouse. This includes trust accounts or similar devices established for a minor child pursuant to 12 O.S. 83. In addition, a trust established jointly by at least one of the individuals who can establish an MQT and another party or parties (who do not qualify as one of these individuals) is an MQT as long as it meets the other MQT criteria. The amount from an irrevocable MQT deemed available to the individual is the maximum amount of payments that may be permitted under the terms of the trust to be distributed to the individual assuming the full exercise of discretion by the trustee(s). The provisions regarding MQT apply even though an MQT is irrevocable or is established for purposes other than enabling an individual to qualify for SoonerCare, and, whether or not discretion is actually exercised.
      • (i)  Similar legal device. MQT rules listed in this subsection also apply to "similar legal devices" or arrangements having all the characteristics of an MQT except that there is no actual trust document.  An example is the member petitioning the court to irrevocably assign all or part of his/her income to another party (usually the spouse). The determination whether a given document or arrangement constitutes a "similar legal device" should be made by the OKDHS Office of General Counsel, Legal Unit.
      • (ii) MQT resource treatment. For revocable MQTs, the entire principal is an available resource to the member.  Resources comprising the principal are subject to the individual resource exclusions (e.g., the home property exclusion) since the member can access those resource items without the intervention of the trustee. For irrevocable MQTs, the countable amount of the principal is the maximum amount the trustee can disburse to (or for the benefit of) the member, using his/her full discretionary powers under the terms of the trust. If the trustee has unrestricted access to the principal and has discretionary power to disburse the entire principal to the member (or to use it for the member's benefit), the entire principal is an available resource to the member. Resources transferred to such a trust lose individual resource consideration (e.g., home property transferred to such a trust is no longer home property and the home property exclusions do not apply). The value of the property is included in the value of the principal. If the MQT permits a specified amount of trust income to be distributed periodically to the member (or to be used for his/her benefit), but those distributions are not made, the member's countable resources increase cumulatively by the undistributed amount.
      • (iii) Income treatment. Amounts of MQT income distributed to the member are countable income when distributed.  Amounts of income distributed to third parties for the member's benefit are countable income when distributed.
      • (iv) Transfer of resources. If the MQT is irrevocable, a transfer of resources has occurred to the extent that the trustee's access to the principal (for purposes of distributing it to the member or using it for the member's benefit) is restricted (e.g., if the trust stipulates that the trustee cannot access the principal but must distribute the income produced by that principal to the member, the principal is not an available resource and has, therefore, been transferred).
    • (C) Special needs trusts. Some trusts may provide that trust benefits are intended only for a beneficiary's "special needs" and require the trustee to take into consideration the availability of public benefits and resources, including SoonerCare benefits. Some trusts may provide that the trust is not to be used to supplant or replace public benefits, including SoonerCare benefits. If a trust contains such terms and is not an MQT, the trust is not an available resource.
  • (5) Trust accounts established after August 10, 1993.  The rules found in (A) - (C) of this paragraph apply to trust accounts established after August 10, 1993.
    • (A) For purposes of this subparagraph, the term "trust" includes any legal document or device that is similar to a trust. An individual is considered to have established a trust if assets of the individual were used to form all or part of the principal of the trust and if the trust was established other than by will and by any of the following individuals:
      • (i) the individual;
      • (ii) the individual's spouse;
      • (iii) a person, including a court or administrative body, with legal authority to act in place of or on behalf of the individual or the individual's spouse; or
      • (iv) a person, including a court or administrative body, acting at the direction or upon the request of the individual or the individual's spouse.
    • (B) Where trust principal includes assets of an individual described in this subparagraph and assets of any other person(s), the provisions of this subparagraph apply to the portion of the trust attributable to the assets of the individual. This subparagraph applies without regard to the purposes for which the trust is established, whether the trustees have or exercise any discretion under the trust, and restrictions on when or whether distributions may be made from the trust, or any restrictions on the use of the distribution from the trust.
    • (C) There are two types of trusts, revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts.
      • (i) In the case of a revocable trust, the principal is considered an available resource to the individual.  Home property in a revocable trust under the direct control of the individual, spouse or legal representative retains the exemption as outlined in OAC 317:35-5-41.8(a)(2).  Payments from the trust to or for the benefit of the individual are considered income of the individual.  Other payments from the trust are considered assets disposed of by the individual for purposes of the transfer of assets rule and are subject to the 60 months look back period.
      • (ii) In the case of an irrevocable trust, if there are any circumstances under which payments from the trust could be made to or for the benefit of the individual, the portion of the principal of the trust, or the income on the principal, from which payment to the individual could be made is considered available resources. Payments from the principal or income of the trust is considered income of the individual. Payments for any other purpose are considered a transfer of assets by the individual and are subject to the 60 months look back period.  Any portion of the trust from which, or any income on the principal from which no payment could under any circumstances be made to the individual is considered as of the date of establishment of the trust (or if later, the date on which payment to the individual was foreclosed) to be assets disposed by the individual for purposes of the asset transfer rules and are subject to the 60 months look back period.
  • (6) Exempt trusts. Paragraph (5) of this subsection does not apply to the following trusts:
    • (A) A trust containing the assets of a disabled individual under the age of 65 which was established for the benefit of such individual by the parent, grandparent, legal guardian of the individual or a court if the State receives all amounts remaining in the trust on the death of the individual up to an amount equal to the total medical assistance paid on behalf of the individual. This type of trust requires:
      • (i) The trust may only contain the assets of the disabled individual.
      • (ii) The trust must be irrevocable and cannot be amended or dissolved without the written agreement of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services or the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.
      • (iii) Trust records must be open at all reasonable times to inspection by an authorized representative of the OHCA or OKDHS.
      • (iv) The exception for the trust continues after the disabled individual reaches age 65. However, any addition or augmentation after age 65 involves assets that were not the assets of an individual under age 65; therefore, those assets are not subject to the exemption.
      • (v) Establishment of this type of trust does not constitute a transfer of assets for less than fair market value if the transfer is made into a trust established solely for the benefit of a disabled individual under the age of 65.
      • (vi) Payments from the trust are counted according to SSI rules. According to these rules, countable income is anything the individual receives in cash or in kind that can be used to meet the individual's needs for food, clothing and shelter.  Accordingly, any payments made directly to the individual are counted as income to the individual because the payments could be used for food, clothing, or shelter for the individual. This rule applies whether or not the payments are actually used for these purposes, as long as there is no legal impediment which would prevent the individual from using the payments in this way. In addition, any payments made by the trustee to a third party to purchase food, clothing, or shelter for the individual can also count as income to the individual. For example, if the trustee makes a mortgage payment for the individual, that payment is a shelter expense and counts as income.
      • (vii) A corporate trustee may charge a reasonable fee for services in accordance with its published fee schedule.
      • (viii) The OKDHS Form 08MA018E, Supplemental Needs Trust, is an example of the trust. Workers may give the sample form to the member or his/her representative to use or for their attorney's use.
      • (ix) To terminate or dissolve a Supplemental Needs Trust, the worker sends a copy of the trust instrument and a memorandum to OKDHS Family Support Services Division, Attention: Health Related and Medical Services (HR&MS) explaining the reason for the requested termination or dissolution of the Supplemental Needs Trust, and giving the name and address of the trustee. The name and address of the financial institution and current balance are also required. Health Related and Medical Services notifies OHCA/TPL to initiate the recovery process.
    • (B) A trust (known as the Medicaid Income Pension Trust) established for the benefit of an individual if:
      • (i) The individual is in need of long-term care and has countable income above the categorically needy standard for long-term care (OKDHS Appendix C-1 Schedule VIII.B) but less than the average cost of nursing home care per month (OKDHS Appendix C-1 Schedule VIII.B).
      • (ii) The Trust is composed only of pension, social security, or other income of the individual along with accumulated income in the trust. Resources cannot be included in the trust.
      • (iii) All income is paid into the trust and the applicant is not eligible until the trust is established and the monthly income has been paid into the trust.
      • (iv) The trust must retain an amount equal to the member's gross monthly income less the current categorically needy standard of OKDHS Appendix C-1. The Trustee distributes the remainder.
      • (v) The income disbursed from the trust is considered as the monthly income to determine the cost of their care, and can be used in the computations for spousal diversion.
      • (vi) The trust must be irrevocable and cannot be amended or dissolved without the written agreement of the OHCA.  Trust records must be open at all reasonable times to inspection by an authorized representative of the OHCA or OKDHS.
      • (vii) The State will receive all amounts remaining in the trust up to an amount equal to the total SoonerCare benefits paid on behalf of the individual subsequent to the date of establishment of the trust.
      • (viii) Accumulated funds in the trust may only be used for medically necessary items not covered by SoonerCare, or other health programs or health insurance and a reasonable cost of administrating the trust. Reimbursements cannot be made for any medical items to be furnished by the nursing facility. Use of the accumulated funds in the trust for any other reason will be considered as a transfer of assets and would be subject to a penalty period.  •1
      • (ix) The trustee may claim a fee of up to 3% of the funds added to the trust that month as compensation.
      • (x) An example trust is included on OKDHS Form 08MA011E.  Workers may give this to the member or his/her representative to use or for their attorney's use as a guide for the Medicaid Income Pension Trust.
      • (xi) To terminate or dissolve a Medicaid Income Pension Trust, the worker sends a memorandum with a copy of the trust to OKDHS Family Support Services Division, Attention:  HR&MS, explaining the reason and effective date for the requested termination or dissolution of the Medicaid Income Pension Trust, and giving the name and address of the trustee. The name and address of the financial institution, account number, and current balance are also required.  Health Related and Medical Services notifies OHCA/TPL to initiate the recovery process.
    • (C) A trust containing the assets of a disabled individual when all of the following are met:
      • (i) The trust is established and managed by a non-profit association;
      • (ii) The trust must be made irrevocable;
      • (iii) The trust must be approved by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and may not be amended without the permission of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services;
      • (iv) The disabled person has no ability to control the spending in the trust;
      • (v) A separate account is maintained for each beneficiary of the trust but for the purposes of investment and management of funds, the trust pools these accounts;
      • (vi) The separate account on behalf of the disabled person may not be liquidated without payment to OHCA for the medical expenses incurred by the members;
      • (vii) Accounts in the trust are established by the parent, grandparent, legal guardian of the individual, the individual, or by a court;
      • (viii) To the extent that amounts remaining in the beneficiary's account on the death of the beneficiary are not retained by the trust, the trust pays to the State from such remaining amounts an amount equal to the total medical assistance paid on behalf of the individual. A maximum of 30% of the amount remaining in the beneficiary's account at the time of the beneficiary's death may be retained by the trust.
  • (7) Funds held in trust by Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Interests of individual Indians in trust or restricted lands are not considered in determining eligibility for assistance under the Social Security Act or any other federal or federally assisted program.
  • (8) Disbursement of trust. At any point that disbursement occurs, the amount disbursed is counted as a non-recurring lump sum payment in the month received. Some trusts generate income on a regular basis and the income is sent to the beneficiary. In those instances, the income is treated as unearned income in the month received.

 

INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 317:35-5-41.6

 

1.    Diapers, lift chairs, wheelchairs, walkers, and payment for private rooms, etc., cannot be purchased with trust account funds.  Transportation and vacations, etc., are not considered medically necessary items.

Last Updated:  1/15/2013