General Information for Attorneys about CCT

Commonwealth Community Trust (CCT) provides general information to assist attorneys in the representation of their clients. CCT does not offer legal advice nor does CCT offer to draft legal papers for attorneys.

CCT is a non-stock, nonprofit Corporation qualified as a 501(c)(3) entity under the Internal Revenue Code. CCT provides people with special needs the opportunity to establish the following types of pooled trusts:

  • Third-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust – funded typically by a family member or friend, and can be coordinated with an estate plan or life insurance policy.
  • First-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust – funded by the beneficiary who has special needs and has received funds as a result of a personal injury award, inheritance, savings or Social Security back payment.  CCT’s First-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust was set up in 1994 in response to the sweeping changes in the Medicaid rules under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA – 93).  This type of trust can be established by the person with special needs, a parent, grandparent, legal Guardian, or the Court.  For Beneficiary’s receiving Medicaid, this type of trust is sometimes referred to as a Medicaid payback trust.
  • First-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust with a Medicare Set-Aside Account – In some cases, a person receives Medicare benefits and is also eligible for means-tested benefits such as Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid. In these cases, the individual should consider, with the advice of counsel at the time of settlement, nesting the MSA Account within a special needs trust to avoid losing eligibility for these public benefits.
  • Military Survivor Benefit Plan – Pooled Special Needs Trust – funded directly by payments of a military or military retiree’s dependent child’s Survivor Benefit Plan annuity.

How CCT’s Pooled Trusts Work

Commonwealth Community Trust’s Master Trust Agreements allows CCT to administer the trusts under the umbrella of the “master.”  The Master Trust Agreements for both the Third-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust and First-Party Pooled Special Needs Trust were written by an Estate Planning Attorney with legal expertise in special needs planning and signed by the CCT Board of Directors and The Trust Company of Virginia.

The CCT Master Trust Agreements, with amendments, are recorded in the Chesterfield County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.  The Joinder Agreement is the legal document to join. Detailed information about the Beneficiary is maintained by CCT and is updated as needed.

The CCT Board of Directors selected The Trust Company of Virginia, a  financial institution with trust powers located in Virginia, to manage and invest the funds.

Benefits of Establishing a Pooled Special Needs Trust with Commonwealth Community Trust

  • Experience in trust administration since 1990
  • Available nationwide
  • Trustworthy and experienced staff
  • Knowledgeable about rules protecting Medicaid and SSI
  • Greater investment opportunities as the funds are pooled
  • Minimum funding requirement is $5,000
  • Prompt disbursements for the sole benefit of the Beneficiary
  • Affordable, comprehensive services with low administrative fees
  • Sensitive to the needs of people living with special needs and their family members
  • Stability as a national nonprofit organization
  • Enrollment for Beneficiaries of any age
  • Work closely with attorneys and other professional


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