What is a first person Special Needs Trust?

An SNT is called a “first person” SNT when the funds going into the trust originally belonged to the beneficiary or were designated to be distributed to the beneficiary. In New York, this is also considered a “payback” trust because at the death of the beneficiary, the Trustee must first reimburse the local Medicaid agency (either the Department of Social Services or HRA) for the value of benefits paid out to the beneficiary through the Medicaid program. If there are any funds left after reimbursing the local Medicaid agency, then the balance may go to the beneficiary’s estate.