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John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
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Experience:  Over 15 years legal experience.
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I have a daughter born with severe physical challenges that

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I have a daughter born with severe physical challenges that insurance has not helped us with. Over the past few years we have had great financial hardships, but both of us are now working full-time jobs. My work keeps me on the road quite a bit though so time is limited for us.

We recently put a website together and are selling my wife's Christmas CD/MP3s to help raise money to help our daughter get the special therapies and equipment she needs. (

Since we put it up, we have had a few people contact us that want to make some small donations.

My question: What are our options for setting this up and which option do you recommend most to be able to take donations for our daughter Emma?

Thanks so much.


A.T. Snoots

Thank your for asking Just Answer,


Does your daughter qualify for or receive any type of government benefits like Medi-Cal?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.

We were denied Medical once before but my wife just resubmitted everything yesterday. Of course, we don't have an answer yet so we don't know if that may happen or not. We do get some type of a benefit provided by State (I believe) where they pay for some hours each month for personal care (babysitting).

Since you are trying to qualify for a government program you want any money you raise for her (gift or sale of music) to be in a Special Needs Trust. A Special Needs Trust is a very specific trust that can be created by an Elder and Disability Law attorney in your area. This trust is sanctioned under federal law and will allow her to have the money to use for things Medi-Cal does not pay for but the money in the trust is not counted when California looks at yours or her assets or income.


The trust is complicated and you need instruction on the creation and how to use the money in the trust I would highly advise using an attorney to help you. You can find one at You may also check with your local legal aid office as they often have elder and disability law attorneys that can do this for you for free if you qualify.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

So for funds that may already have on their way to us, should we put them into a bank account for her or reject them?


Thanks so much.

That is tricky. I am afraid that if you accept them then you will be required to report them as money you have when applying for Medi-Cal.


If you turn them away can you get them to give them to you later, once you have the trust established?

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We submitted all of the paperwork yesterday. Will they ask for more information? The folks sending the donations are people we have never met, so we don't know if we may be able to approach them later.