North Dakota Pooled Trust
for Individuals with Disabilities
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 (i.e. Medicaid, 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:
- Health and dental procedures and equipment for which there are not funds otherwise available.
- Rehabilitative and occupational therapy services, medical procedures even though not medically necessary or life saving, medical insurance payments.
- Supplemental nursing and home care, private case management, supplemental dietary needs.
- Travel, entertainment, companionship, cultural experiences, vacations, visitation by friends and relatives.
- Guardian, 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 Services.
Are there limitations to the North Dakota Pooled Trust?
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 Pooled Trust 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 Trust?
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 programs.