What is the enrollment process?

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

CCT encourages prospective participants to consult with an attorney or trusted advisor, and contact CCT with any questions regarding the enrollment process.

The following documents and payments are required for enrollment:

  1. Joinder Agreement – Completed and signed by Grantor(s) in front of a notary
  2. Fee Schedule – Signed by the Grantor(s)
  3. Attorney Checklist – if applicable
  4. Check for the enrollment fee made payable to Commonwealth Community Trust.
  5. Check to fund the trust made payable to the Trust Company of Virginia if the trust is to be funded immediately.
    Note: Most Third-Party Pooled Special Needs Trusts and Military Survivor Benefit Plan Special Needs Trust are funded at a later date.
  6. Copy of the Beneficiary’s Social Security card.

What tax information is provided?

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Participants with funded trusts will receive a K-1 Form as required by IRS regulations.  This form is for tax preparation purposes and will reflect taxable activity of the trust during a given calendar year.  Please consult with a tax preparer if you have any questions.

How do I share my vision for the trust and other helpful information with CCT?

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

The Family and Beneficiary Information form provides the Grantor(s) of the Third-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust the opportunity to let CCT know about their vision for the trust and to share important information about the Beneficiary.

The Advocate for the First-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust will be asked to complete Objectives for the Trust that describes his or her vision for the trust.

This information can be updated as needed.


Please note: As of June 1, 2016, the Self-Funded Pooled Disability Trust was renamed to First-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust.

What types of trusts are administered by CCT?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

CCT administers the following types of trusts:

  • Third-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust – A trust established by a third party, usually a parent, grandparent, relative or friend for the benefit of a loved one with special needs.
  • First-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust – A trust established with the Beneficiary’s own funds with the Grantor being the beneficiary, parent(s), grandparent(s), Guardian, Conservator or the court.
  • Military Survivor Benefit Plan Special Needs Trust – A trust established by a parent who is a military member or retiree for the benefit of his or her dependent child with special needs and funded by annuity payments from a Military Survivor Benefit Plan. This trust is also a first-party pooled special needs trust.

The trusts differ in whose assets are funding the trust. All trusts are administered by CCT in a similar manner. Many Beneficiaries have both a third-party and first-party trust with CCT. For Medicaid recipients, a major difference between a first-party and third-party trust is how the remainder is handled when the Beneficiary who received Medicaid passes away.

See What happens to the remainder when the Beneficiary passes away?

For Remainder Policy for Third-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust

For Remainder Policy for First-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust

How are the trust funds managed and invested? What does “pooled trust” mean?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Each Beneficiary’s funds are placed in an individual sub account.  CCT accepts cash assets for deposit into the trust; no real estate or non-cash assets are accepted.  The cash assets from all sub accounts are then “pooled” together, and are invested and managed by the Trust Company of Virginia (TCVA) (www.tcva.com).  TCVA is a federal chartered financial institution with trust powers, located in Virginia.  Pooling the funds reduces administrative fees and increases the principal for investment purposes.  Earnings based on the Beneficiary’s share of the principal are reinvested into each sub account.

A financial record is maintained for each sub account that reflects all the activity in the account.  The Advocate has the option of receiving quarterly financial statements in the mail or accessing financial information about the account online at the TCVA website.

The funds are conservatively invested.  The Investment Committee of CCT’s Board of Directors provides oversight and meets quarterly with the staff at TCVA.  TCVA staff members make a presentation to the full Board annually.  The Board votes on the Investment Policy.

CCT provides trust administration services that include reviewing payment requests and managing disbursements.

Who can have a trust?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

CCT provides services for people with special needs who meet the criteria under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability.

For an adult 18 and older, “disability” under Social Security is based on an inability to work. To be considered disabled under SSA rules, the following criteria must be met:

a.)  The adult cannot do work that was done before;

b.)  Social Security decides that the individual cannot adjust to other work because of his or her medical condition(s); and

c.)  The disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

For a child under the age of 18, the SSA defines having a disability as follows:

a.)  The child must have a physical or mental condition(s) that very seriously limits his or her activities; and

b.)  The condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year or result in death.

 For more information, please visit the Social Security website.


CCT’s Third-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust is available to Beneficiaries of any age.

CCT’s First-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust is available to Beneficiaries of any age. For clients who are 65 years of age and older and receiving or planning to apply for Medicaid Long Term Care, the eligibility requirements for a self-funded trust vary from state to state.  Please contact CCT for more information.

In what states are trusts from Commonwealth Community Trust available?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

CCT is a nonprofit organization operating nationally.

What expenses can the trust pay?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

The trust can be used in many ways to enrich the quality of life of the Beneficiary.  The trust can pay for clothing, computer equipment, furniture, dental care, eye exams and eye glasses, vocational training or other educational expenses, and transportation.  Also see “How Can Funds from the Trust be Used”.

The trust must be used for the sole benefit of the Beneficiary.

For a Beneficiary who receives SSI and/or Medicaid, it is the responsibility of CCT to preserve these benefits.  CCT follows the rules of government agencies for pooled trust organizations.  Disbursements are not made that would duplicate what benefit programs are providing, such as food and shelter for SSI recipients, as these disbursements would affect benefits.

Who can request disbursements?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

A Primary and Secondary Advocate are named on the Joinder Agreement by the Grantor and can be changed at any time by completing the Change of Advocate Form.  The Advocate has the responsibility of requesting disbursements, receiving financial statements, and communicating with CCT about the needs of the Beneficiary.  The Advocate can be a parent or Guardian, Conservator, Power of Attorney, family member, case manager, or the Beneficiary himself or herself.

How are disbursements handled?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

CCT follows the rules outlined in the Master Trust Agreements in administering trusts.  Please see CCT’s Trust Administration Services for additional useful information.

Checks are made payable to a vendor, not the Beneficiary, so as not to be counted as income or assets for clients receiving SSI and/or Medicaid.

Also, members of the Board of Directors with expertise in Estate Planning and other related fields serve on the Disbursement Committee and assist the Executive Director, as needed, in making disbursement decisions on behalf of the Beneficiary.

For more information, see Instructions for Requesting a Disbursement.