New York Medicaid beneficiaries might be aware of the 21st Century Cures Act (CCA), which came into effect on Jan. 1. The law changes the wording of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which was written to exclude people with disabilities from creating their own special needs trusts without court approval because they were assumed not to be legally competent.
A special needs trust is an irrevocable trust, and the creator of that trust must be legally competent even if he or she is the beneficiary. A person who is legally competent is defined as a person who is of sound mind to enter a legal agreement. The CCA recognizes that many individuals who have disabilities have the mental competence to create a trust.