What Are the Uses for a Miller Trust?

A Miller Trust is an unique type of trust that changes an individual’s earnings downward, normally in an effort for the individual to keep eligibility for specific kinds of governmental benefit programs. The majority of frequently, these trusts are used for the function of developing eligibility for the Medicaid program.

Medicaid Program Eligibility Criteria

In order to receive Medicaid, the individual’s earnings need to be under a particular income level. Medicaid is administered at the state level, so the state develops the income level that the candidate can not go beyond. How eligibility is figured out depends on whether the state is considered a spend-down state or an income cap state.

Spend-Down States

Most states are spend-down states in which an applicant’s earnings need to be spent down on medical costs before the applicant can end up being eligible for Medicaid. These states do not utilize Miller trusts since candidates certify for Medicaid when their health care costs lower their income listed below the earnings standard used in the state.

Income Cap States

In earnings cap states, Medicaid applicants who have income that is over the earnings eligibility standard can not qualify for Medicaid unless they put excess earnings in a Miller trust. The state establishes the earnings cap. However, the optimal earnings is usually 300 percent of the month-to-month SSI amount.

Miller Trusts

The Miller trust pays the Medicaid recipient a small regular monthly allowance. By redirecting earnings to the Miller trust, the candidate can end up being qualified for the program. Redirecting earnings includes putting it into an account that is titled in the name of the trust. The earnings that is part of this unique kind of trust is not counted when figuring out whether the applicant is eligible for Medicaid so that the candidate has the opportunity to be eligible for this program.

Spouse’s Income

The Miller trust can likewise pay the recipient’s spouse a little month-to-month allowance. However, any income over the amount necessary for the recipient and his/her partner’s allowance is then utilized to pay the recipient’s share of his or her cost of care.

Mechanics of a Miller Trust

Miller trusts are primarily utilized to help candidates end up being eligible for Medicaid benefits. Nevertheless, much of the funds that are originally deposited into a Miller trust account are typically used to pay for the expense of the candidate’s care. For example, if a Medicaid applicant gets income of $2,500 however the earnings cap is $2,205, the applicant would not qualify for benefits due to the fact that her income is $295 more than the state earnings eligibility guideline. If a Miller trust is established, the extra $295 could be deposited into a separate account for the Miller trust even though most of the $2,500 will be utilized to pay the applicant’s share of her expense of care. Usually, the candidate’s entire federal government advantage check is transferred into an account that is listed under the name of the trust. By transferring the funds in this way, it avoids the applicant from having direct access to the income so that the funds can be split between the site providing take care of the applicant and the candidate’s monthly allowance.


Miller trusts can be used to spend for a small regular monthly allowance, Medicare premiums and medical costs that are not covered by Medicaid or Medicare. In any occasion, the Miller trust can only be utilized to spend for the applicant’s allowed expenses.

Developing a Miller Trust

Unlike other types of trusts, there are limited constraints on who can develop this type of trust to get approved for government advantages. Any candidate of any age who would otherwise be qualified for the Medicaid program can establish a trust of this nature. Frequently, a person uses the services of an estate planning lawyer to design a trust of this nature. In the trust document, a trustee is named to administer the trust for the advantage of the candidate.