Qualifying for Medi-Cal coverage has long been tied to strict asset limits ($2,000 maximum for individuals not including a home or vehicle). Those with disabilities would need to establish a Special Needs Trust (SNT) to maintain their assets and still qualify for Medi-Cal and other important medical coverage.

As of January 1, 2024, the asset limits criteria were eliminated. Now, government benefit eligibility is based on income. It’s important that attorneys understand the new rules to help ensure disabled individuals have continued access to benefits.

OBRA 93 Trusts. OBRA 93 Trusts are gaining attention as an option for injured parties receiving government benefits. OBRA 93 Trusts have some similarities to SNTs but offer more flexibility. Unlike SNTs, they don’t require a payback to the state for received government benefits. Also, if the injured party has the capacity, they can have direct asset ownership through OBRA 93 Trusts.

For questions about the types of available trusts for disabled individuals, contact a trust expert knowledgeable in Medi-Cal eligibility.

Renee Owens & Pat Farber