OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trusts, as well as other types of trusts, are being utilized by unethical lawyers, nurses, and guardianship companies in Cook County, Illinois, to enrich themselves while the elderly disabled wards are being assigned court-appointed guardians and being placed into public aid nursing homes.
In fact, one Cook County Probate Court lawyer educates her peers in ways in which very large estates may be placed into OBRA and/or other types of trusts, to allow the disabled ward to qualify for Medicaid. She also educates her peers on which types of trusts are lacking oversite, and which types of trusts allow for "administrative fees" (i.e., attorneys' and guardians' fees). Her educational video, which some feel to be controversial, may be viewed at this website: IllinoisProBono.org
Unfortunately, some corrupt players in the Cook County Probate Court system (lawyers, nurses, judges, and guardianship companies) are using this legal loophole so they may enrich themselves through OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trusts. This Medicaid abuse can occur because only certain "special needs" expenses may be paid from OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trusts, such as medical bills, insurance premiums, and "administrative fees". However, housing may NOT be paid from these accounts. As a result, the ward is immediately moved to public aid housing once their estate is placed into the OBRA Special Needs Trust.
There are numerous victims of this Medicaid Abuse scheme. There are even cases in Cook County where the lawyers and/or guardians, with the knowledge of the judge, illegally deposited dis-allowable funds of the ward (VA disability benefits, newly-discovered funds, etc) into the OBRA Trust.
Also, please contact the VA benefits office nearest you if you identify illegal funding of an OBRA account with VA benefits.
To read more about this abuse, visit www.ProbateSharks.com.
Full Article and Source:
NASGA: Soapbox: OBRA Trust Accounts: Medicaid Planning or Medicaid Fraud and Abuse