Under current law, anyone can set up a special needs trust (SNT). However, military retirees cannot direct their military retirement benefits into an SNT.
Moran's bill, the Disabled Military Child Protection act, would allow veterans to direct some of their retirement pay toward that goal. It would also allow disabled children of deceased veterans to continue to be eligible for other federal assistance even when they access their SNT.
That last feature is more generous than the way military survivor trusts are currently treated. According to Moran, veterans can direct up to 55 percent of their retirement pay toward a survivor benefit. But when the veteran dies and the survivor benefit is accessed, the recipient is disqualified from Medicare and Social Security Disability Insurance.
Moran's bill is sponsored by four House Democrats, including Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), a veteran of the Korean War. Other cosponsors are Reps. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Steve Rothman (D-N.J.).