Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust Launches
New Nonprofit Leverages the Power of Community; Multi-Year Capacity-Building Grant Provides Seed Funding
August 10, 2016
LOS ANGELES (Aug. 10, 2016)-A new affordable solution for Los Angeles County families who have minor or adult children with disabilities-the Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust (JLA Trust)-launches locally this month to offer the first pooled-special-needs trusts in this region.
Special-needs trusts allow beneficiaries of government safety net programs to keep their essential government benefits such as SSI, Medi-Cal and In-Home Supported Services (IHSS) and legally supplement those benefits with their own funds, or with money from family members or friends. Money invested in the pooled special needs trust under the umbrella of a Master Trust is carefully managed through individual sub-accounts to support persons with disabilities throughout their lifespan. JLA Trust individual accounts are open to all persons with a qualifying disability with a $20,000 minimum investment and will provide professional trustee and investment-management services traditionally obtainable only to families with higher assets.
Under the leadership of founding Board Chair Sandor E. Samuels, a longtime Los Angeles attorney and civic leader, and former president and CEO of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, the JLA Trust recently received its independent nonprofit status approvals. Investment and trust management will be provided by True Link Financial, Inc., a San Francisco-based tech company with expertise in trust finances and related services.
Samuels stated: "With many fluctuations in the economy, every parent worries about their adult children's financial security. For parents who have children with disabilities, those concerns are magnified multi-fold, as parents also worry about who will take care of their adult disabled children's finances and overall well-being when they are gone. The JLA Trust, modeled after other successful pooled special-needs trusts throughout the country, was conceived to give
middle-income families, in particular, a measure of comfort that their adult disabled children will have a financial safety net."
A three-year, $250,000 Cutting Edge Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) provided seed funding for the JLA Trust. Planning grants from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles funded a community-needs assessment and development of a business plan.
Foundation President and CEO Marvin I. Schotland stated: "Our foundation's support for the JLA Trust reflects recognition of the important void now filled by this inspiring new institution for families of persons with disabilities. Cutting Edge Grants are awarded to innovators who seek to shape the future of Jewish Los Angeles. The JLA Trust certainly exemplifies the highest ideals of that mission while bringing peace of mind and financial security to those who require it most."
"We know there are thousands of families that could benefit," said Michelle K. Wolf, the JLA Trust's founder and a special-needs parent. "L.A. County has the highest number of SSI recipients in the nation."
The mission of Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust (JLA Trust) is to ensure that children and adults with disabilities are able to obtain a high quality of life by leveraging the power of community to assist with financial security and peace of mind. With a primary focus on helping the Jewish community, JLA Trust will be open to all eligible beneficiaries who have $20,000 to open an individual account.
Contact: Michelle K. Wolf, Executive Director, (424) 341-3344 and firstname.lastname@example.org