On Dec. 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R.34 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)). Section 5007 of the Act, titled “Fairness in Medicaid Supplemental Needs Trusts” incorporates language from the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2015 by adding two words (“the individual”) to an existing statute. With the stroke of a pen, more than two decades of unfair treatment to individuals with disabilities was ended by now allowing those with capacity to create their own self-settled special needs trust (SNT), without having to go to court. Prior to enactment of this new law, individuals with disabilities who didn’t have a living parent or grandparent couldn’t create their own self-settled SNT without going to court.
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