FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Mitch Leff, 404-861-4769
Kim Speece, 404-849-6579
ATLANTA, December 1, 2015 -- Atlanta nonprofit All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) has assumed management and day-to-day operations of the Georgia Community Trust (GCT), as the not-for-profit entity that will manage the Trust under the Master Trust Agreement approved by the appropriate legal entities. Ridgeview Institute founder Robert Fink approached AADD about a year ago with the interest in transferring the operations of the Trust from Ridgeview to AADD.
The GCT of AADD is currently valued at approximately $12 million, with 225 active accounts statewide. It is open to all individuals with a disability living in Georgia. AADD plans to grow the trust and launch a series of classes around the state to educate families on how they can use and benefit from a pooled special needs trust in their future planning for a family member with a disability. More information can be found at www.gacommunitytrust.com.
About the Georgia Community Trust
- The Trust serves Georgians with disabilities as defined by Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. It protects the asset limit for individuals receiving Medicaid.
- The GCT is the only one of its kind in Georgia in order to ensure access for all.
- The funds are pooled and are required by law to be operated by a nonprofit entity.
- A “first party” trust sub-account can be established by a competent beneficiary, parent(s), grandparent(s), guardian, or court. A first party trust is funded using settlement funds or personal funds of the beneficiary.
- A “third party” trust Sub-account can be established by anyone and is funded using monetary gifts or donations of someone other than the beneficiary.
“Planning for your financial future is one of the greatest challenges for families with a disability,” Kathy Keeley, executive director, All About Developmental Disabilities. “The Georgia Community Trust was created to secure financial ‘peace of mind’ for families. We are committed to expanding the current opportunities to even more Georgians.”
GCT – Financial Challenges and Benefits
- Individuals receiving SSI and Medicaid are limited as to the amount of income they may receive and the amount of assets they may own.
- Assets transferred to the Trust and earmarked for the intended beneficiary are not considered assets for the purposes of SSI and Medicaid.
- Putting funds from inheritances and settlements from legal proceedings into the Trust ensures that these funds do not disqualify the beneficiary from public assistance to which he/she is otherwise entitled.
AADD is offering a series of free workshops on Understanding Special Needs Trusts for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and the Georgia Community Trust: What You Need to Know (specific dates announced soon at AADD.org).
About All About Developmental Disabilities
Founded in 1956, All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) is an Atlanta-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing family support, advocacy and training opportunities for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.
Developmental disabilities are defined as severe chronic intellectual and/or physical disabilities that limit three or more critical functional abilities. Examples include Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism disorders, fetal alcohol disorders and intellectual disabilities. These disabilities manifest early in life (before age 22) and last a lifetime.
Georgia relies on a disjointed system of services and support that cannot be sustained long-term. Economic uncertainties are reducing funding support, even as the number of people in need increases. AADD offers a range of services focusing on Family Support, Public Policy and Advocacy and Community Engagement. For more information, go to www.AADD.org or call us at (404) 881-9777.