Estate Law

What Are the Uses for a Miller Trust?

A Miller Trust is an unique kind of trust that adjusts a person’s income downward, generally in an attempt for the private to retain eligibility for particular kinds of governmental advantage programs. Usually, these trusts are used for the purpose of developing eligibility for the Medicaid program.

Medicaid Program Eligibility Criteria

In order to get approved for Medicaid, the person’s earnings must be under a specific income level. Medicaid is administered at the state level, so the state develops the income level that the applicant can not go beyond. How eligibility is figured out depends on whether the state is considered a spend-down state or an earnings cap state.

Spend-Down States

Most states are spend-down states in which an applicant’s income must be spent down on medical costs before the applicant can become eligible for Medicaid. These states do not utilize Miller trusts because applicants get approved for Medicaid when their health care costs lower their income listed below the earnings requirement utilized in the state.

Income Cap States

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

Miller Trusts

The Miller trust pays the Medicaid recipient a little month-to-month allowance. By redirecting earnings to the Miller trust, the applicant can end up being eligible for the program. Rerouting income includes putting it into an account that is entitled in the name of the trust, for instance. The earnings that is part of this unique type of trust is not counted when figuring out whether the applicant is qualified for Medicaid so that the applicant has the opportunity to be qualified for this program.

Spouse’s Earnings

The Miller trust can also pay the recipient’s spouse a small month-to-month allowance. Any income over the quantity essential for the recipient and his or her partner’s allowance is then used to pay the recipient’s share of his or her cost of care.

Mechanics of a Miller Trust

Miller trusts are mainly used to assist candidates end up being eligible for Medicaid benefits. Much of the funds that are originally transferred into a Miller trust account are often used to pay for the cost of the applicant’s care. For example, if a Medicaid candidate gets earnings of $2,500 however the income cap is $2,205, the applicant would not qualify for advantages due to the fact that her income is $295 more than the state income eligibility guideline. If a Miller trust is developed, the additional $295 could be deposited into a different account for the Miller trust even though most of the $2,500 will be utilized to pay the candidate’s share of her cost of care. Typically, the candidate’s whole federal government advantage check is deposited into an account that is noted under the name of the trust. By transferring the funds in this way, it prevents the candidate from having direct access to the earnings so that the funds can be divided in between the website offering look after the candidate and the applicant’s monthly allowance.


Miller trusts can be utilized to spend for a little regular monthly allowance, Medicare premiums and medical expenses that are not covered by Medicaid or Medicare. In any event, the Miller trust can just be utilized to pay for the candidate’s permitted expenses.

Establishing a Miller Trust

Unlike other kinds of trusts, there are restricted restrictions on who can develop this type of trust to receive government benefits. Any applicant of any age who would otherwise be qualified for the Medicaid program can develop a trust of this nature. Frequently, a person uses the services of an estate planning legal representative to design a trust of this nature. In the trust file, a trustee is named to administer the trust for the advantage of the candidate.