Military members have access to a life insurance plan called the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) that they can chose to contribute to upon their retirement.
Like with any other life insurance plan, Joe can not name Kayla as a beneficiary for SBP. Anything worth more than $2000 can not be left in Kayla's name. It's something that saddens me about having a child with a disability - to know that we can not leave anything in her name, that she can't be named the beneficiary on anything or else she will not be eligible for federal programs like Medicaid and Social Security. It's a catch-22.
With most other types of insurance, or inheritance, there is an answer for this though - a special needs trust (SNT). The SNT can be set up to be the beneficiary, basically accepting on behalf of the person with a disability.
However, this is not the case for the military's SBP. As of right now the benefits can not be left to a SNT. Kayla wouldn't be able to receive benefits directly from the SBP or through it being sent to a SNT.
The draft of the 2015 Defense Bill includes a provision that would authorize payment of SBP annuities to a SNT.
This should be a no-brainer to pass. All this provision does is allow a SNT to accept annuities from a SBP that would otherwise be paid out to a beneficiary.
Anyone, and everyone, can easily send an email to their senator asking for support of this bill. Even if you are not military and this doesn't affect you, there are numerous military families that this will affect in a positive way and I'm sure would appreciate your support (our family being one of them).
The Military Officer's Association of America has an email ready to send to your senator. It can be tweaked if you'd like or sent as is. All you have to do is fill in your information and click send.
Thank you for your support, and please share!