The Academy of Special Needs Planners has signed on to a letter drafted by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) asking the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to stop treating most distributions from special needs trusts as income for purposes of qualifying for Section 8 or Section 811 housing assistance.

Some local public housing authorities have been treating distributions from special needs trusts as income attributable to public housing residents even if the payments are not being made to the residents.  The letter calls on HUD to issue clear guidance to local housing agencies exempting payments from special needs trusts as income as long as the payments are not being made directly to the beneficiary.

Doing so would further integration of people with disabilities into their communities and would mirror current SSI and Medicaid treatment of income from special needs trusts, the letter says.  In fact, the letter recommends that HUD follow POMS SI 01120.201I when crafting guidance governing these distributions.

To read the letter in ASNP’s members-only Knowledge Bank, click here.