Designated Advocate Responsibilities
A person who establishes a Community Fund Ohio trust must select a Designated Advocate (such as a family member or service provider) who will handle communications, request money from the trust for purchases, and receive account and tax statements.
Each Community Fund Ohio trust has a Designated Advocate who is appointed when the trust is established. The role of the Designated Advocate is very important. This is the person who communicates with Community Fund Ohio on behalf of the Beneficiary. A competent adult can serve as his or her own Designated Advocate. We do not allow “co-advocates” or multiple advocates to serve at the same time.
The Designated Advocate is the only person who can request a distribution of money from the trust. Distributions must be for the “sole benefit” of the Beneficiary. The distribution request may be for items or services that are not covered by insurance or a government program and that supplement and enhance the quality of life of the individual with a disability.
The Designated Advocate will receive a Welcome Packet with instructions and forms when the trust is funded and reaches the distributable amount. Pooled Medicaid Payback Trusts must have a value of at least $5,000 before a distribution will be made and Master Trusts must have a value of at least $15,000 before a distribution will be made. However, these are not minimum balance requirements and the value can change after the trust reaches the distributable threshold. The Welcome Packet along with additional forms are available on our Forms page.
Responsibilities of the Designated Advocate:
- Submit distribution requests to Community Fund Ohio for the sole benefit and in the best interest of the Beneficiary. Instructions and forms are included in the Welcome Packet and on our website.
- Know the benefits, income, and medical insurance received by the beneficiary and accurately complete a Beneficiary Resource Record annually.
- Notify Community Fund Ohio of any address changes for the Beneficiary, Grantor, Designated Advocate, and Successor Designated Advocates by submitting the appropriate form.
- Receive quarterly paper account statements from our Trustee or sign up for online access to monthly account statements.
- Receive tax documents on behalf of the Beneficiary and consult a tax preparer if necessary.
- Contact Community Fund Ohio if any third party, including a government agency or attorney, requests information regarding the trust and provide consent for Community Fund Ohio to disclose information.
- Notify Community Fund Ohio when any party has died, including the Beneficiary, Grantor, or a Successor Designated Advocate. Provide information to Community Fund Ohio when the trust is being closed.
- Notify Community Fund Ohio immediately if the Designated Advocate becomes unable to serve.
When a new Designated Advocate is needed:
Having an active, competent, and reliable Designated Advocate is in the beneficiary’s best interest. If the Designated Advocate is unable to serve, Community Fund Ohio will contact the Successor Designated Advocates in the order listed in the Trust Joinder Agreement. If no successor was named at the time of trust establishment, Community Fund Ohio will contact the person who established the trust to appoint a new Successor Designated Advocate. If the person who established the trust needs to change or remove a Designated Advocate for any reason, the appropriate form must be completed and mailed to Community Fund Ohio. For questions or concerns regarding Designated Advocates, please call our Administrative office at 216.736.4540.