Weaving Structured Settlements Into Pooled Special Needs Trusts

Disbursements, Medicare Set-Aside Concerns, Pitfalls to Avoid

This program has been cancelled

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

This CLE course will provide elder law and personal injury attorneys guidance on the benefits and challenges of placing structured settlements in pooled special needs trusts (PSNTs). The panel will discuss the basics of public benefits and using PSNTs to preserve these benefits. The panel will also discuss disbursements, Medicare set-aside concerns, how to weave structured settlements into the equation, and pitfalls to avoid.


Weaving a structured settlement or Medicare set-aside arrangement into a PSNT provides tax advantages and future financial security for injured and disabled clients. Failure to plan for a legal alternative to preserve your client's means-tested government and/or Medicare benefits can result in malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, or dereliction of duty claims.

When incorporating a structured settlement or Medicare set-aside arrangement into the already complex planning necessary to maintain public benefits and Medicare coverage, several issues must be considered. Counsel must have a complete understanding of the benefits and types of PSNTs, means-tested vs. entitlement benefits, disbursement rules, issues for first-party vs. third-party SNTs, and other key considerations when planning for the future financial security of their client with special needs.

Listen as our panel provides elder law and personal injury attorneys legal guidance on the benefits and challenges of placing structured settlements or Medicare set aside arrangements in pooled special needs trusts.



  1. Public benefits primer
    1. Why do public benefits planning for a person with a disability?
    2. Means-tested benefits
    3. Entitlement benefits
    4. Dual eligibility
  2. Overview of pooled special needs trusts
    1. First-party
    2. Third-party
    3. Remainder policy
  3. Weaving structured settlements in PSNTs
    1. Benefits
      1. Safeguards public benefits
      2. Provides future financial security
      3. Provides tax advantages
    2. Timing and sequence
    3. Funding options
    4. Proper assignment of qualified settlement funds
    5. Commutation clauses
  4. Medicare set-aside arrangements in PSNTs
    1. What is a Medicare set aside arrangement (MSA)?
    2. Medicare Secondary Payer Statute
    3. What if a plaintiff is covered by both Medicaid and Medicare?
  5. Disbursements
    1. Sole discretion
    2. Sole benefit
    3. Examples


The panel will discuss these and other key issues:

  • What are the key considerations for placing structured settlements in PSNTs?
  • How can the funds be spent and what factors must be considered in disbursement decision making?
  • What mechanisms are available to maintain public benefits eligibility for a client who is awarded a structured settlement?
  • What issues are presented for first-party and third-party SNTs?
  • How can Medicare set-asides be nested in PSNTs?


Marcus, Joanne
Joanne Marcus, MSW

Commonwealth Community Trust

Ms. Marcus has a master’s degree in social work and serves as the President and CEO of Commonwealth Community...  |  Read More

Olivia Wong, J.D.
Olivia Wong, J.D.
Director of Education
Commonwealth Community Trust


 |  Read More