A personal injury trust is the only legitimate method which allows you to keep your compensation if you or others in your close family either claim, or will need to claim, means tested benefits or require local authority care. You will usually receive your compensation in a lump sum, and if that lump sum is not ring fenced by a personal injury trust you may lose your entitlement to means tested benefits for many years to come.
A personal injury trust (PIT) is a form of trust, a legally binding arrangement, where funds are held by persons called trustees for the benefit of another or others upon the terms of a document called a trust deed.
By taking out a personal injury trust this gives you the opportunity to use your compensation as intended and keeps your benefit options open. Clients can often ignore the benefit of a personal injury trust and that it provides protection against the means test for services provided by local authorities. When a local authority assesses your need for care it must assess your financial situation. If you have tucked away your compensation money for a rainy day, that money may mean you have to pay for your own care.
Which Benefits Are Means-Tested?
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Support
- Universal Credit
- Guarantee Pension Credit
Accordingly if you are below the pension age and in receipt of any of the above benefits then you must consider a Personal Injury Trust. However in addition to this it is advisable for you to set one up if you are:
- any age and in receipt of community care support, or;
- likely to fall into either of these groups imminently.
In setting up a Personal Injury Trust you will need to consider the appointment of two trustees and it is important that you choose people you trust and whom you are in regular contact with, as they will have a say in your financial decisions.
At Express Solicitors, we can refer you to the appropriate financial specialist who can provide a free assessment as to whether a Personal Injury Trust is suitable to you. Advice and guidance will be provided throughout the process, ensuring that your compensation remains, yours.