A trust fund may exist in the name of a child or for the benefit of a child included in a case. The trust funds may be held by a financial institution in a savings account, certificate of deposit, or other form that the financial institution can only
release on the order of a court.
When it is learned that a trust fund exists and the amount of the trust fund by itself or combined with other nonexempt assets exceeds the asset limit, allow the payee 45 days to petition the court for release of the funds. If someone other than the
payee is the legal guardian of the trust fund, the payee is responsible for seeing that the legal guardian files the petition for release of the funds within 45 days. The child with the trust fund remains eligible for the 45 days.
If the trust fund plus other nonexempt assets does not exceed the asset limit, the payee does not have to petition for release of the funds.
At the end of 45 days, if the payee:
- does not provide proof that the court has been petitioned, consider the trust fund as an available nonexempt asset and apply the trust's value to the asset limit. If the trust fund plus other nonexempt assets exceeds the asset limit, delete the
child, or if the child is the only unit member, cancel the case. The eligibility of other unit members is not affected unless the child with the trust fund is the only child in the case; or
- provides proof that the court was petitioned and the court denied the request for release of the funds, consider the trust fund as an exempt asset; or
- provides proof that the court will release the funds for the child, verify the purpose(s) of the release(s) and the amount(s). Consider the released amount(s) as follows:
- When the court order directs that the money be used for the child's income maintenance needs or does not specify a purpose, budget monthly payments as nonexempt unearned income. The payee may request the child be removed from the case if the
earmarked income meets the child's needs. In that case, the rest of the case remains eligible and the payments are earmarked for the child's needs.
- When the court order directs a onetime only release for the child's income maintenance needs or does not specify a purpose, consider the money an asset subject to the asset limit. If the payment plus other nonexempt assets exceed the asset limit, the
payee may choose to delete the child from the case. The other unit members remain eligible.
- When the court order directs that the money be used for a specific purpose other than the child's income maintenance needs, the money is exempt and does not affect eligibility; or
- provides proof that the court was petitioned but a decision was not made, continue benefits for the child and set a control for 30 days.