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Special Needs Fairness Act of 2013 (H.R. 2123) « Important Federal Legislation/ Issues

What is the Special Needs Fairness Act of 2013?

The Special Needs Fairness Act of 2013, H.R. 2123, addresses a problem for many persons with disabilities.  Special Needs Trusts allow a person with a disability to set aside assets to supplement living expenses and provide additional care when government benefits are not sufficient.

Special Needs Trust Fairness Act

Please write or call your Congressmen and ask them to support this legislation

Here is the letter that I wrote to Senator Debbie Stabenow along with attachments about the legislation

Fairness Act

Eye on Elder: Congress' Drafting Error Denies Individuals with Disabilities a Fundamental Right by: Michael J. Amoruso, Esq

Special Needs Trust Fairness Act Legislative Leave Behind

Democrates, Republicans Join to Fix Trust Glitch


Dear Senator Stabenow:

I write you as a constituent a board member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and a member of The Academy of Special Needs Planners.  As an elder law and special needs law attorney, I see clients on a regular basis whose lives would greatly benefit from a piece of legislation currently pending in Congress: the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act (H.R. 2123).

 This bill will eliminate discriminatory practices that prevent a person with disabilities' access to special needs trusts.  Special needs trusts (SNTs) were authorized by Congress in 1993 and are a common long-term care planning tool.  The law allows funds, such as a legal settlement, to be held in a trust with an unlimited amount of assets for a person with disabilities.  These funds can then be used to supplement expenses and care when government benefits, such as Medicaid, are insufficient.

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act is a bipartisan bill in the House that was introduced by Representative Glenn Thompson (R, PA-5th) and Representative Frank Pallone (D, NJ-6th).  This bill will allow people with disabilities who have the requisite mental capacity to create their own special needs trust ((d)(4)(A) Trust).  Under current law, people with disabilities who have mental capacity were left out of the list of those who can create the special needs trusts.  They must have a parent, grandparent, guardian or the court establishes the trust.  This is an unacceptable discriminatory policy in the law that must be fixed.  This bill simply adds two words to the current statute: "the individual," so that the individual can create his or her own special needs trust.

The law should not discriminate against people with disabilities.  Your co-sponsorship of this bill will help end this discrimination against people with disabilities in the law.      

We are happy to note that recently Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Charles Grassley (R-IA), and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) agreed to support these bills.

Thank you for your consideration.  Please let me know if you will co-sponsor these bi-partisan bills.  I would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Very truly yours,


Patricia E. Kefalas Dudek