What Are the Uses for a Miller Trust?

A Miller Trust is an unique type of trust that changes an individual’s earnings downward, generally in an effort for the private to retain eligibility for certain types of governmental advantage programs. A lot of typically, 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 income must be under a specific income level. Medicaid is administered at the state level, so the state develops the earnings level that the applicant can not go beyond. How eligibility is identified 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 earnings should be spent down on medical expenses prior to the candidate can end up being eligible for Medicaid. These states do not use Miller trusts due to the fact that applicants get approved for Medicaid when their healthcare expenses lower their income below the earnings requirement utilized in the state.

Earnings Cap States

In earnings cap states, Medicaid candidates who have earnings that is over the income eligibility guideline can not certify for Medicaid unless they put excess income in a Miller trust. The state develops the earnings cap. However, the maximum income is normally 300 percent of the month-to-month SSI amount.

Miller Trusts

The Miller trust pays the Medicaid recipient a small monthly allowance. By rerouting income to the Miller trust, the applicant can end up being qualified for the program. Redirecting earnings involves putting it into an account that is titled in the name of the trust, for instance. The income that becomes part of this unique type of trust is not counted when determining whether the candidate is eligible for Medicaid so that the candidate has the chance to be eligible for this program.

Partner’s Income

The Miller trust can also pay the recipient’s partner a small monthly allowance. Any income over the amount necessary for the recipient and his or her partner’s allowance is then utilized to pay the recipient’s share of his or her expense of care.

Mechanics of a Miller Trust

Miller trusts are mostly utilized to help applicants become qualified for Medicaid benefits. Nevertheless, much of the funds that are initially deposited into a Miller trust account are frequently utilized to spend for the cost of the candidate’s care. If a Medicaid applicant gets earnings of $2,500 however the earnings cap is $2,205, the candidate would not certify for benefits since her income is $295 more than the state earnings eligibility guideline. If a Miller trust is developed, the additional $295 could be transferred into a different account for the Miller trust even though many of the $2,500 will be utilized to pay the applicant’s share of her expense of care. Typically, the applicant’s whole government advantage check is transferred into an account that is noted under the name of the trust. By transferring the funds in this way, it avoids the candidate from having direct access to the earnings so that the funds can be split in between the site supplying care for the applicant and the candidate’s month-to-month allowance.


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

Developing a Miller Trust

Unlike other kinds of trusts, there are minimal constraints on who can establish this kind of trust to receive federal government advantages. Any candidate of any age who would otherwise be eligible for the Medicaid program can develop 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 file, a trustee is called to administer the trust for the benefit of the applicant.