Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question to learn more.

Who is eligible for a CRT account?

The Camphill Resident’s Trust is primarily designed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities but can also serve people with any type of disability. In fact, a trust account can be created for non-disabled people as well.

These beneficiaries must reside in the United States and may live independently, in a Camphill community, other life-sharing setting, a group home, a supported-living setting or with family.

What is a Supplemental Needs Trust?

Source of Funding: A Supplemental Needs Trust is an account that is funded by a third party such as a parent, other family member or friend.

Qualification: The CRT is a qualified Supplemental Needs Trust under current federal and state Medical Assistance Regulations. Additionally, the Social Security Office has issued a determination letter to the CRT that it is a qualified Supplemental Needs Trust for SSI purposes. The majority of CRT accounts are Supplemental Needs Trusts.

Benefits: Funds can be placed in a Supplemental Needs Trust account with the CRT without jeopardizing the beneficiary’s entitlement to government benefits.

Upon Death: None of the remaining balance in the trust account is required to repay Medical Assistance expended on behalf of the beneficiary. Sponsors play a major role in directing the disposition of any remaining funds upon the beneficiary’s death.

What is a Special Needs Trust?

Source of Funding: In a Special Needs Trust, the beneficiary has a vested entitlement to assets such as an inheritance or personal injury settlement at the time the Special Needs Trust account is established.

Qualification: The CRT is a qualified Special Needs Trust under federal law [42 U.S.C.A. Section 1396p (d) (4) (C)].

Upon Death: As with all federally qualified first-party Special Needs Trust accounts, federal law requires that, at the beneficiary’s death, the balance in the trust account must be used to repay Medical Assistance that has been expended on behalf of the beneficiary.

Why does the CRT ask if the beneficiary receives SSI or SSDI benefits?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), administered through the Social Security Administration, provide benefits that support eligible disabled individuals.

The beneficiary’s eligibility for these benefits is used in the preparation of each trust account’s tax filing and may reduce the tax liability of the trust account. In addition, knowing if a beneficiary receives SSI or SSDI helps Trustees assure that disbursements do not jeopardize government benefits.

If a beneficiary does not currently receive SSI or SSDI support but becomes eligible at a later time, Sponsors are urged to contact the CRT so the beneficiary’s file can be updated.

Who can become a Sponsor and establish a trust account?

Anyone can open a trust account on behalf of an individual. It can be a family member, close personal friend, appointed guardian or conservator, or other interested party.

How much money is needed to establish a trust account?

An initial deposit of at least $3,000 can begin the process. Additional payments totaling $12,000 over two years bring the trust account to the required $15,000 minimum funding level. The CRT account is irrevocable meaning the account cannot be terminated after it has been established.

Is there a cap on how much can be deposited into a CRT account?

No, there is no limitation to the size of the account.

What steps does a Sponsor take to create an individual trust account with the CRT?

  • Contact the CRT Administrator whose information is found on the Contact tab of this website.
  • Complete and sign the Sponsor Agreement that will be sent to you.
  • Once the Sponsor Agreement is approved by the Trustees, send the initial check of at least $3,000 to create the account.

What communication should a Sponsor expect and how frequently?

A quarterly trust account statement showing all income, gains/losses, fees, distributions and rates of return for the period is sent by the corporate custodian directly to the Sponsor. An annual letter is sent from the CRT with news about the Trust. Sponsors are encouraged to contact the CRT Administrator whenever questions or concerns arise.

What can the trust account money be used for?

The trust account can be used for essential items that support the beneficiary’s well-being but are not provided by government benefits. This includes items and experiences that enrich the beneficiary’s life. (See Beneficiaries tab for examples.)

Who can request distributions from the trust account?

The Sponsor, a relative of the beneficiary, a caregiver, or interested person within the beneficiary’s support network can request distributions that directly and solely benefit the beneficiary. The Trustees will always consult with the Sponsor before considering the request for approval.

Are there any restrictions on disbursements made from a trust account?

Beneficiaries who receive SSI or SSDI benefits cannot receive disbursements from their CRT account for food or shelter without the risk of impacting those benefits.

What information do Trustees use when reviewing requests for withdrawals on behalf of the beneficiary?

Trustees rely on detailed information from the person making the request or others with knowledge of the specific situation. It helps to have background information about a beneficiary’s interests, preferences and needs. It is good, for example, to know if a beneficiary is engaged in art, prefers spending vacations with family, needs adaptive equipment or has struggled with mental health issues. Trustees may pose questions for clarification. Ultimate responsibility for decisions about withdrawals rests with the Trustees.

Who serves as the CRT’s corporate custodian?

Truist serves as the corporate custodian of the Camphill Resident’s Trust. Truist provides investment portfolio management in consultation with the CRT Investment Committee, keeps records of all accounts, processes deposits and distributions, provides quarterly account summary statements for sponsors, and prepares the required tax filing and other reporting.

How long has the CRT been in existence?

The CRT was established in 1989.

Does the CRT have a Federal Tax ID?

Yes, the CRT has a Federal Tax ID 23-6818183 and is included in the IRS list of tax exempt organizations which can be found at https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/.

What is the size of the CRT’s portfolio?

As of December 31, 2020, the Camphill Resident’s Trust assets under management had a market value of more than $4.7 million. 

What have been recent rates of return for CRT accounts?

For the year ending December 31, 2020, the gross rate of return is 9.23%.

For the five-year period January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2020, the annualized gross rate of return is 8.63%.

For the ten-year period January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2020, the annualized gross rate of return is 8.72%.

What fees and other disbursements are charged to each CRT account?

CRT Fee: An annual rate of .75% of the market value of the Trust is charged and reported quarterly for administrative services.

BB&T Fees:

  • Investment Management: An annual blended rate of .75% of the market value of the Trust is charged monthly and reported quarterly.
  • Record keeping and Statements: A $40 annual fee is charged and reported quarterly.
  • Tax Filings: A $50 annual fee is charged and reported in the second quarter.

Income Tax Payments: Where applicable, Federal and/or State of Pennsylvania taxes are calculated on interest, dividends and net gains. Taxes if due are paid and reported by the second quarter. Estimated tax payments for the subsequent tax year may be required for some accounts and are paid quarterly.

When a beneficiary dies, how are the remaining funds in the trust account allocated?

The Sponsor for the trust account indicates in the Sponsor Agreement which individuals or organizations will receive the remaining funds. The Camphill Resident’s Trust has established guidelines for required and discretionary distributions. Such guidelines are customary for pooled trusts which typically are administered by tax-exempt organizations. There are different guidelines for Supplemental Needs Trusts and Special Needs Trusts. For more information, please contact the CRT administrator.

Why fund a trust account during one’s lifetime rather than as part of an estate?

Actually, the CRT enables a sponsor to do both. Once the account is opened with a minimum deposit, family members or friends can make contributions to mark special occasions, such as birthdays, holidays, bar/bat mitzvahs or other milestones. In addition, they can provide instructions for additional funding through a family trust or bequest. In some instances, grandparents or siblings establish the account. These accounts can serve as an investment mechanism to assure there will be resources for their loved one while also including the Camphill Trust account as part of their estate plan. A family may decide not to request distributions from the account as long as they are able to provide for supplemental needs. There is peace of mind knowing the account is in place should there be an unexpected change in circumstances.

Why would a Sponsor establish a trust with the Camphill Resident’s Trust instead of with a financial institution?

The CRT is a tax-exempt organization operating solely as a pooled trust for individuals with special needs. Each beneficiary has an individual account. Additional advantages include a modest initial investment, low fees, and access to high-asset investment expertise.

CRT Trustees carry a sensibility for the issues of individuals with special needs. All participating Camphill communities have a Trustee on the Board while other Trustees have loved ones living in a variety of settings. This broad representation provides advocacy and stewardship generally not found with a financial institution. CRT Trustees receive no compensation for services rendered to the Trust.

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