North Dakota Pooled
for Individuals with
Guardian And Protective
What is the
North Dakota Pooled Trust?
Federal Law and State Regulations allow individuals with
disabilities to set aside assets for supplemental/ special needs
into a Pooled Trust for the purpose of maintaining eligibility for
public assistance programs
SSI, Housing, VA). The Pooled Trust is irrevocable and has been
established by Guardian and Protective Services, Inc. (GAPS), a
non-profit association. A separate account (sub-account) is
maintained for each beneficiary in the Trust but for purposes of
investment and management of funds, the Trust pools these accounts.
How is a Pooled Trust established?
There are two types of sub accounts in the Pooled Trust:
Self Settled Trust - established with the assets of the individual who has
the disability by a parent, grandparent, guardian, court, or the
individual. Payback to the State Medicaid is required after death.
Third Party Trust - established with the funds of a third party grantor
(parent, grandparent, or sibling.) Not the person with the
disability. Payback to State Medicaid after death is not required.
How are the funds used?
The funds in the Pooled Trust can be used for supplemental/special
needs of the beneficiary not covered by Medicaid or other public
programs and when the purchase of or payment for such items do not
risk the beneficiary’s eligibility for these programs. Supplemental/
special needs items include:
dental procedures and equipment for which there are not funds
and occupational therapy services, medical procedures even
though not medically necessary or life saving, medical insurance
nursing and home care, private case management, supplemental
entertainment, companionship, cultural experiences, vacations,
visitation by friends and relatives.
legal, and advocacy services.
How does the North Dakota Pooled Trust Operate?
Decisions for payment to beneficiaries are made by Guardian and
Protective Services, (GAPS), the Trustee, according to the
requirements of the Trust Agreement. The Funds Manager, a bank trust
department, makes the investments. The North Dakota Pooled Trust
reports to the Board of Directors of Guardian and Protective
Are there limitations to the North Dakota Pooled
The Trustee has total discretion over payment of the funds to the
beneficiary in accordance with the terms of the Trust. Payments may
not be made directly to the beneficiary. Upon the death of a
beneficiary of a Special Needs Pooled Trust (funded by the
individual), claims for reimbursement of Medicaid must be repaid to
the State before funds are distributed to the beneficiary’s estate.
Financial transfers to a Special Needs
may impact eligibility for Basic Care of the Beneficiary.
What are the fees of the North Dakota Pooled Trust?
The Funds Manager charges an annual investment fee. The Trustee
charges a one-time enrollment fee and hourly fees for services
performed. A minimum annual fee is charged for administration.
What are the advantages of the North Dakota Pooled
The sub-accounts are pooled into one account managed by a bank trust
department that allows for a higher rate of return than would be
possible if funds were invested separately. Some banks are reluctant
to administer small trusts and may charge fees that small trusts are
unable to pay. Banks generally are not involved with the regulations
for public assistance programs such as Medicaid, SSI, and housing
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