Thank you for the opportunity to introduce First Maryland Disability Trust!
First Maryland Disability Trust, Inc. is a non-profit organization serving Marylanders with special needs by offering a pooled asset special needs trust, the First Maryland Disability Trust (FMDT), as authorized under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §1396p(d)(4)(C)) and Maryland regulation (COMAR 10.09.24.08-2B(6)(b)).
FMDT provides cost effective trustee and investment management services, with a personal touch, to enhance the quality of life of our beneficiaries while protecting their eligibility for public benefits.
It is the mission of the First Maryland Disability Trust, Inc., to enhance the quality of life, autonomy and dignity of Marylanders with disabilities by offering cost effective trust services to protect, manage and use trust assets for our beneficiaries while preserving their eligibility for public and private benefits.
Public benefits programs alone can never meet all the needs of an individual with disabilities; for this reason, preservation of assets in a special needs trust is often preferable to spending down excess income and assets to program limits.
Individuals with disabilities often depend on public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medical Assistance (also known as Medicaid). These programs have strict limits on income and assets. For example, countable assets cannot exceed $2,000.00 for SSI. If the individual acquires income or assets in excess of program limits, such as an inheritance or an insurance settlement, he or she may lose benefits unless or until the assets are spent down or preserved in a special needs trust which meets the SSI and Medicaid rules.
FMDT is a pooled asset special needs trust, formed in accordance with federal law (42 U.S.C. §1396p(d)(4)( C)) and Maryland regulation (COMAR 10.09.24.08-2B(6)(b)). These laws permit a non-profit organization to create a trust which can bring together (or “pool”) the assets of many individuals with disabilities in a way that protects each one’s assets and income from being counted in determining eligibility for certain public benefits, such as SSI or Medical Assistance.
Funds in an individual’s account may be used for such things as travel, education, computers, hobbies, subscriptions and health care not covered by benefits, such as dental and vision care.
FMDT has complete discretion in making distributions from each beneficiary’s individual account. This discretionary power is an important part of treating the individual’s account as unavailable and not countable for purposes of determining eligibility for many benefits.