Disabled Individuals Now Allowed to Create Their Own First Party Special Needs Trust in New York State

Disabled Individuals Now Allowed to Create Their Own First Party Special Needs Trust in New York State

On August 21, 2017, Governor Cuomo signed into law an amendment to New York Soc. Security Law § 366[2][b][2][iii] that enables a disabled individual to create and fund his or her own first party special needs trust (“SNT”).  The newly revised Soc. Security Law § 336 has added the words “by the individual” to the list of parties permitted to create a first party SNT.  It now reads: “…a trust containing the assets of such a disabled individual which was established for the benefit of the disabled individual while such individual was under sixty-five years of age by THE INDIVIDUAL, a parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or court of competent jurisdiction…” SSL § 336[2][b][2][iii].  In effect, the amendment disregards the corpus and income of a trust established by a disabled person for his or her own benefit from income and resources considered for medical assistance eligibility.


This long-awaited amendment, resulting from an immense advocacy effort by the New York State Bar Association Elder Law & Special Needs Committee, now conforms with the parallel federal statute permitting self-created and funded SNTs. For more information on the federal legislation, check out our recent publication here.

2017-08-28T21:26:36+00:00