Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust Launches; Offers Affordable Option for Persons with Disabilities to Receive Professional Trustee Services Through Pooled-Special-Needs Trust

New Nonprofit Leverages the Power of Community; Multi-Year
Capacity-Building Grant Provides Seed Funding

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#autistic–A new affordable solution for Los Angeles County families who have minor
or adult children with disabilities—the Jewish
Los Angeles Special Needs Trust
(JLA Trust)—launches locally this
month to offer the first pooled-special-needs trusts in this region.

Special-needs trusts allow beneficiaries of government safety net
programs to keep their essential government benefits such as SSI,
Medi-Cal and In-Home Supported Services (IHSS) and legally supplement
those benefits with their own funds, or with money from family members
or friends. Money invested in the pooled special needs trust under the
umbrella of a Master Trust is carefully managed through individual
sub-accounts to support persons with disabilities throughout their
lifespan. JLA Trust individual accounts are open to all persons with a
qualifying disability with a $20,000 minimum investment and will provide
professional trustee and investment-management services traditionally
obtainable only to families with higher assets.

Under the leadership of founding Board Chair Sandor E. Samuels, a
longtime Los Angeles attorney and civic leader, and former president and
CEO of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, the JLA Trust recently received its
independent nonprofit status approvals. Investment and trust management
will be provided by True Link Financial, Inc., a San Francisco-based
tech company with expertise in trust finances and related services.

Samuels stated: “With many fluctuations in the economy, every parent
worries about their adult children’s financial security. For parents who
have children with disabilities, those concerns are magnified
multi-fold, as parents also worry about who will take care of their
adult disabled children’s finances and overall well-being when they are
gone. The JLA Trust, modeled after other successful pooled special-needs
trusts throughout the country, was conceived to give middle-income
families, in particular, a measure of comfort that their adult disabled
children will have a financial safety net.”

A three-year, $250,000 Cutting Edge Grant from the Jewish Community
Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) provided seed funding for the
JLA Trust. Planning grants from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los
Angeles funded a community-needs assessment and development of a
business plan.

Foundation President and CEO Marvin I. Schotland stated: “Our
foundation’s support for the JLA Trust reflects recognition of the
important void now filled by this inspiring new institution for families
of persons with disabilities. Cutting Edge Grants are awarded to
innovators who seek to shape the future of Jewish Los Angeles. The JLA
Trust certainly exemplifies the highest ideals of that mission while
bringing peace of mind and financial security to those who require it

“We know there are thousands of families that could benefit,” said
Michelle K. Wolf, the JLA Trust’s founder and a special-needs parent.
“L.A. County has the highest number of SSI recipients in the nation.”


The mission of Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust (JLA Trust) is to
ensure that children and adults with disabilities are able to obtain a
high quality of life by leveraging the power of community to assist with
financial security and peace of mind. With a primary focus on helping
the Jewish community, JLA Trust will be open to all eligible
beneficiaries who have $20,000 to open an individual account.


Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust
Michelle K. Wolf, Executive
(424) 341-3344