Rep. Moran, Sen. Hagan Introduce Bicameral “Disabled Military Child Protection Act”

Jun 4, 2013 Issues: Iraq

Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) and Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) today introduced legislation enabling military retirees to transfer Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities to a Special Needs Trust (SNT) to provide long-term care for a disabled child. While the general public can transfer funds into an SNT, there is currently no mechanism for members of the military to do the same.

“As a father of a special needs child, I know how important it is for parents to be able to provide the best possible care for them,” said Rep. Moran. “The Disabled Military Child Protection Act will give peace of mind to middle class military parents of more than 1,000 dependents that their children will receive good care after they are no longer able.”

Currently, a military retiree can dedicate up to 55 percent of his or her monthly retirement pay to a Survivor Benefit Plan to provide a monthly survivor benefit to a spouse after their death. The “Disabled Military Child Protection Act” would enable any military retiree who invests in a Survivor Benefit Plan to transfer their benefit to a Special Needs Trust. The SNT would enable dependent children to access funds for treatment, while still qualifying for means tested federal programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicaid.

"The Disabled Military Child Protection Act ensures that special needs dependents of our servicemembers receive the care they need, deserve and have earned while making sure military special needs children are treated the same as those of civilians,” said Sen. Hagan. “North Carolina is the most military-friendly state in the nation, and I am committed to supporting commonsense legislation like this that will support our military families that sacrifice so much to protect us.”

To qualify for Medicaid, individuals cannot have assets greater than $2,000. Individual care costs can top $100,000 each year for those who do not qualify. An SNT, administered under federal and state law, is categorized as a trust by Medicaid, rather than as individual income or assets.

Joining Rep. Moran as original cosponsors of the House legislation are Representatives Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Gerry Connolly (D-11), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Bill Foster (D-IL).
 

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