One of the programs offered by the Center for Disability Rights is our Pooled Trust. A Pooled Trust is a tool used by people with disabilities who have monthly income greater than the limits set by the New York State Department of Health to qualify for Medicaid. This income is known as the consumer’s Excess Income. If you have excess income and are in need of Medicaid in New York State there are three ways to be eligible:
- Pay Back the Excess Income Amount to your Local Department of Social Services (LDSS) office.
- Incur Medical expenses up to or above the Excess Income Amount.
- Place the Excess Income into a Pooled Trust.
Currently, only the first two options are mentioned in the Notice of Decisions sent to consumers and the Pooled Trust option is not offered at all. The Pooled Trust option is important to include because out of the above three methods, this one is the only one that directly benefits the consumer. Through the use of the Pooled Trust, the consumer is both Medicaid eligible and can use their excess income to pay their bills through a Pooled Trust, instead of spending down their income. Remaining Medicaid eligible is highly important to people with disabilities because many disabled people need Medicaid services, like medical supplies, attendant services, service coordination, and more.
One of the many advocacy initiatives of the Center for Disability Rights is to change the current Medicaid letter to include the Pooled Trust option. We have been working with both the New York State Senate and Assembly to introduce legislation to require the offer of all three options in the notices. Through our efforts with Senator Rob Ortt’s and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried’s offices, bills have been introduced in their respective chambers of the New York State Legislature, S1241/A5175. CDR will be advocating for these bills and we ask your help by contacting your State Legislative representatives to urge them to cosponsor these important bills. You can figure out who your State Legislative representatives are by going to the following links:
New York State Senator
New York State Assembly Member
Thank you in advance for your assistance related to this important advocacy initiative to ensure all People with Disabilities can be Medicaid eligible and ensuring consumers will be able to remain in a community setting!