What Are the Uses for a Miller Trust?

A Miller Trust is an unique type of trust that changes an individual’s income downward, typically in an attempt for the private to retain eligibility for specific kinds of governmental advantage programs. 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 person’s earnings must be under a particular income level. Medicaid is administered at the state level, so the state establishes the earnings level that the candidate can not exceed. 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 a candidate’s income must be spent down on medical expenses prior to the applicant can become qualified for Medicaid. These states do not use Miller trusts because applicants get approved for Medicaid when their healthcare expenses lower their earnings listed below the income requirement utilized in the state.

Earnings Cap States

In earnings cap states, Medicaid applicants who have earnings that is over the earnings eligibility guideline can not get approved for Medicaid unless they put excess income in a Miller trust. The state establishes the income cap. However, the optimal income is usually 300 percent of the regular monthly SSI quantity.

Miller Trusts

The Miller trust pays the Medicaid recipient a small monthly allowance. By redirecting earnings to the Miller trust, the candidate can end up being eligible for the program. Redirecting income involves putting it into an account that is entitled in the name of the trust, for instance. The earnings that becomes 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 Income

The Miller trust can likewise pay the recipient’s spouse a little monthly allowance. Any income over the quantity necessary for the recipient and his or 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 mostly used to help candidates become eligible for Medicaid advantages. Much of the funds that are originally deposited into a Miller trust account are often used to pay for the cost of the candidate’s care. If a Medicaid applicant receives income of $2,500 but the earnings cap is $2,205, the applicant would not qualify for advantages due to the fact that her earnings is $295 more than the state income eligibility guideline. Nevertheless, 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 applicant’s share of her expense of care. Usually, the applicant’s whole government benefit check is deposited 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 earnings so that the funds can be divided in between the website offering care for the applicant and the applicant’s monthly allowance.


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

Developing a Miller Trust

Unlike other kinds of trusts, there are minimal limitations on who can develop this type of trust to get approved for federal government advantages. Any applicant of any age who would otherwise be eligible for the Medicaid program can establish a trust of this nature. Typically, a person uses the services of an estate planning legal representative to devise a trust of this nature. In the trust file, a trustee is named to administer the trust for the benefit of the candidate.