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Office of Family Safety 1317 Winewood Boulevard

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Presentation on theme: "Office of Family Safety 1317 Winewood Boulevard"— Presentation transcript:

1 Master Trust Declaration and Fee Waiver: Basic Principles and Procedures
Office of Family Safety 1317 Winewood Boulevard Tallahassee, Florida 32399 July 2007

2 Objectives Define the purpose of Master Trust
Learn the types of Master Trust sub-accounts Identify partners involved in the Master Trust process and list their responsibilities Review the monitoring standards for Master Trust Review the fee waiver process

3 Legal Base and Operating Authority
Section , F.S. Chapter 65-C-17, Florida Administrative Code, Master Trust CF Operating Procedure , Master Trust Benefits for Family Safety and Preservation Program Clients CF Operating Procedure 55-7, Fee Assessment and Collection (Chapter 11: Review of Assessed Fees – to be updated) DCF Accounting Procedures Manual, Volume 7, Chapter 3 - Client Trust Funds Chapter 6 - Client Trust Funds Administered by Providers

4 Legislative Purpose Section , F.S. provides responsibility to the Department and its contracted agents to: hold in trust and administer money and property of children in care. act as trustee of the children’s money and property in accordance with the usual fiduciary standards applicable generally to trustees, and protect both the short term and long term interests of the children for whom a Master Trust account has been established

5 What is the Master Trust ?
is a legal document, on file in the Circuit Court of the Leon County, -- with a copy maintained by the Department’s Agency Clerk -- that authorizes the creation of trust accounts for children in foster care has multiple sub-account within it each child has his or her own separate account no commingling or pooling of funds

6 Why Sub-Accounts? sub-accounts allow flexibility in choosing the right trust account for each child based on amount and source of funds, and the present and future needs of the child. trust accounts can be: revocable or irrevocable restricted or unrestricted regarding expenditures sheltering or non-sheltering of assets and income.

7 Sub-Account Types accounts available to all children:
Current Needs Long-term Needs Plan for Achieving Self-sufficiency - non-disabled accounts available only disabled children. Disabled Special Needs SSI Lump Sum distribution Medicaid Income Trust Plan for Achieving Self Sufficiency - disabled

8 Sub-Account Types: Current Needs
funds in this account are used to meet the child’s current, ongoing, monthly needs (clothing, shoes, personal items, school activities and trips, sports activities/equipment, computers, software, audio/visual equipment, and recreational activities). revocable for children receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Act Title II (title II) benefits, (representative payee may access the child’s money or property for the child’s current needs). irrevocable for non-SSI/Title II children is freely accessible to meet the child’s current needs. money in this account does count toward the SSI asset limit.

9 Sub-Account Types: Long-term Needs
is intended to conserve and invest the funds for the child’s long term needs (college education, vocational training and employment related costs) revocable for children receiving SSI and title II benefits, (representative payee may access the child’s money or property for the child’s ongoing needs) irrevocable for non-SSI or non-title II children may not be accessed for any reason until the child reaches age 18, or leaves the care, custody or control of the Department money in this account does count toward the SSI asset limit

10 Sub-Account Types: Plan for Achieving Self-sufficiency - Non-Disabled
is established to conserve money for children who do not receive SSI benefits (ideally >15 – 18 < years old, or younger child with special abilities) funds are used to meet the child’s vocational goal expenditures must be consistent with the approved PASS plan revocable for children receiving Title II benefits, (representative payee can access or transfer the child’s Title II benefits into another appropriate sub-account in the event the child’s PASS-ND plan is transferred, abandoned, amended or terminated) irrevocable for children who do not receive either Title II or SSI benefits money in this account does not count toward the asset limit for Medicaid eligibility.

11 Sub-Account Types: Disabled Special Needs
a.k.a. “dedicated” sub-account, holds retroactive lump sum, underpayments or past due benefits. withdrawals/expenditures are made after legal review and written permission from the Region/Circuit leader or designee. revocable for SSI children (the Department may access the child’s money or property to meet the disabled child’s special needs) irrevocable for others. two types of special needs sub-accounts can be established: Zebley Lump Sum and The SSI Lump Sum monies in these accounts do not count toward the SSI asset limit. must to be established prior to release of the funds from the Social Security Administration

12 Sub-Account Types: SSI Lump Sum distribution
holds lump sum of retroactive SSI benefits; allowable expenditures for special needs include medical treatment; education or job skills training; personal needs assistance (other than basic maintenance costs); special equipment; housing modifications; and therapy or rehabilitation other items or services that the Social Security Administration determines to be appropriate expenditures must be beneficial to the child and related to the child’s impairment and there is no other funding source.

13 Sub-Account Types: Medicaid Income Trust
sub-account is for children who are or who will be qualified for skilled nursing home care under the Medicaid program. only current monthly income of the client may be deposited into this sub-account and is available to pay the client’s share of the skilled nursing home care. money in this sub-account does count toward SSI asset limit.

14 Sub-Account Types: Plan for Achieving Self Sufficiency - Disabled
plan is for older children who are disabled and are conserving funds to meet a vocational goal. must complete a PASS plan that has to be approved by the Social Security Administration revocable for children receiving SSI Benefits (representative payee may access the child’s money or property in connection with expenditures related to the child’s approved PASS plan, or for the reimbursement to the Social Security Administration of SSI benefit payments that were received in connection with the funding of the PASS plan prior to its transfer, amendment, abandonment or termination) as long as the approved PASS plan is in effect, funds placed in this sub-account do not count toward the SSI asset limit

15 Role of the Department/CBC
the Department is the trustee of the accounts of the Master Trust; some Community- Based Care Agencies are assisting the Department in administering and managing the accounts each Region, Circuit and Community-Based Care (CBC) agency must establish local procedures for ensuring that Master Trust is correctly implemented the following partners play a key role in establishing and managing Master Trust sub-accounts in each Region, Circuit and CBC: Case Manager Fiscal Officer Child Welfare Legal Services (CWLS) Attorney

16 Master Trust – Process When a Child comes into care:
determine whether the child has assets (e.g., money or property) determine appropriate Master Trust sub-account(s) based on child’s needs and source of Trust income establish the appropriate Master Trust Sub-account(s) and notifies the court manage the sub-account(s) provide required reports to court and others as allowed or required by the trust document When the child leaves care: notify the court of the termination of the Trust and, if need be, the creation of new trust accounts dispose of the assets as directed by the court and the trust document

17 Role of the Case Manager: Creating the Account
determine if a child has or will receive money or property determine which sub-account(s) is most appropriate for the child complete the Notarized Designation of Client Money and Property form submit form to CBC, Circuit or Region Fiscal Office to establish sub-account(s) per local procedures send copy of form to CWLS

18 Role of the Case Manager: Creating the Account
act as a prudent parent looking out for the child’s best interest: plans for the child’s current and future needs Good practice is to establish an Expenditure Plan to manage money when a sub-account is first opened

19 Role of the Case Manager:
Managing the Account make expenditures to meet needs of child manage balances the cumulative balances for children receiving SSI with current and long term needs sub-account(s) must not exceed $2,000 complete an Expenditure Plan when cumulative balance in sub-account(s) reaches $1,500 (required by CFOP )

20 Role of the Case Manager: Managing Expenditures
Include information on the Judicial Review Social Study Report (JRSSR) regarding the current quarter’s status/balance in the child’s sub-account Complete a Notice of Changed Circumstances form whenever there is a major change in the child’s financial circumstances or a sub-account is closed Make a recommendation to the court in the JRSSR for disposition of the funds in the sub-account when circumstances warrant the closing of a child’s account (e.g., reunification, child turns 18 or is adopted, etc.) disposition of the funds is at the court’s discretion

21 Role of the Fiscal Office
establish the Master Trust account/sub-account(s) maintain the original Notarized Designation of Client Money and Property form in child’s fiscal file send copy of the Notarized Designation of Client Money and Property form to the requesting unit and to Child Welfare Legal Services maintain an up-to-date listing of clients with Master Trust accounts - account activity and balances provide copy of quarterly accounting for each child with a Master Trust Account to appropriate program office staff adhere to other established procedures

22 Role of Child Welfare Legal
provide notice to appropriate parties that DCF/CBC has accepted the position of Trustee for the child submit a copy of the child’s most current quarterly accounting to the court at each Judicial Review consult with the case manager in planning and submitting the recommendation for the court’s disposition of the child’s funds provide notice of hearing to the Agency for Healthcare Administration regarding the disposition of the child’s Trust Funds

23 Monitoring Standards all children in licensed foster care who have or will receive money and/or property must have a Master Trust sub-account(s) there is evidence that a Notarized Designation of Client Money and Property form was completed for children with a Master Trust sub-account there is evidence that the court was notified of the establishment of a child’s Master Trust sub-account quarterly statements of Trust Fund balances are submitted to the case manager

24 Monitoring Standards The court is notified at each Judicial Review of a child’s Trust Fund balance There is an annual accounting of a child’s Trust Fund provided to all required parties There is an Expenditure Plan to maintain the Trust Fund balance at $1,500 or less for children who receive SSI The Social Security Administration is notified when Trust Fund balances of a child receiving SSI exceed $2,000

25 Fee Waiver Any child who is in the custody, care, and control of the department in foster care is eligible to apply for a fee waiver. Fee Waiver is a reduction or deferment of the fees that the Department assesses for the cost of care (65C (5), Florida Administrative Code) Fees will be waived, reduced or deferred according to procedures established in 65C and 65C , F.A.C.

26 Fee Waiver The case manager must provide notice regarding the child’s ability to request a fee waiver at the time of each judicial review to the Child, Guardian ad Litem, Child's parents (unless TPR), Child's foster parents, Child's caseworker, and The Court Notification and request are completed via the “Notice of Fee Assessment and Rights of Foster Child Regarding Government Benefits” (form 0285D). The “Notice of Fee Assessment and Rights of Foster Child Regarding Government Benefits” is available in e-forms.

27 Fee Waiver request will be case specific and individualized
submitted through a fully completed “Notice of Fee Assessment and Rights of Foster Child Regarding Government Benefits” form (form CF 0285D) to the Region, Circuit, or CBC have certified statements, receipts, bills and/or documentation that substantiate the request attached to the request

28 Fee Waiver Local committee appointed by the Region or Circuit leader or designee will review and approve or deny the request based on the interests the child and the availability of funding. Each child has the right to appeal the decision of the region or circuit.

29 Office of Family Safety Contact
For additional information, please contact Sallie Linton at or

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