“I chose the DD Endowment Trust Fund vs. a private attorney special needs trust because of a government backed program that should outlive us, the ease of application, the low cost to get started, and the personable, knowledgeable staff at The Arc Washington State running the program.”
Congratulations on taking the first step toward planning for a secure financial future by learning more about the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Endowment Trust Fund.
Making an informed decision about any kind of financial planning is good for everyone, but when it comes to individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities who receive government benefits, it’s even more important to understand how to invest in the future while ensuring eligibility for vital services and benefits.
The information in this overview answers the most commonly asked questions about the Trust program. If there is a particular question you have that’s not addressed, feel free to contact us.
About the DD Endowment Trust Fund
The DD Endowment Trust Fund is a supplemental special needs trust program. It was established in 1999 by the Washington State Legislature and opened for enrollments in July of 2002.
The DD Endowment Trust Fund allows individuals with developmental disabilities, or their families, to set aside funds for future use without affecting their eligibility for government services and benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.
Funds can be withdrawn from the trust and used for many services not covered by other benefits, including recreation, therapy, clothing and transportation.
The DD Endowment Trust Fund is an easy and effective way to prepare for the future (and life’s unexpected expenses) without risking financial eligibility for needed benefits and services.
Benefits of the Trust Program
Established by the Washington State Legislature in 1999.
- Enables families and individuals to open a special needs trust at a minimal cost.
- Protects Beneficiaries’ eligibility for public benefits, regardless of their trust value.
- Enhances the quality of life for the individual by paying for activities, purchases, and enriching experiences not covered by government services.
- Provides a safety net to pay for services and supports in the future, in the event they are reduced (due to budget cuts and policy changes).
- Offers incentives in the form of state matching funds on fees.
- Provides conservatively invested and safely managed funds by the Washington State Investment Board.
An additional benefit is that the DD Endowment Trust Fund is administered by The Arc Washington State and overseen by a Governor-appointed board that includes family members of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Trust holders can be assured that we understand the needs of people with developmental disabilities.
As the result of this stable, public-private partnership, the DD Endowment Trust Fund takes the challenge out of establishing a special needs trust, and puts affordability back into the equation for investing in the future.
Individuals are eligible to open a trust account with this program if they meet three conditions at the time of enrollment:
- Reside in the State of Washington.
- Meet the state definition of developmental disability, as determined by a representative of the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Administration.
- Be under the age of 65 at the time of enrollment.