For almost 30 years the Midwest Special Needs Trust Charitable Trust program has been helping people across our state who are disabled and living below the federal poverty level.

2019 In Review 2019: Celebrating 30 years

2019 was a year with much to celebrate, including a significant milestone for MSNT — 30 years of helping individuals and families with special needs plan for their financial futures. Before we flip the calendar to 2020, read about our accomplishments from 2019.


Read answers prepared by our Special Needs Trust Specialists to common questions about the purpose of, establishing, and using a Special Needs Trust.



Tax season is upon us! Whether you have been a trust beneficiary for years or are brand new to MSNT, here are some important facts about special needs trusts and taxes.

"Midwest Special Needs Trust administers trusts that protect public benefits for people with disabilities. The organization is governed by a professional, values-driven Board of Trustees that includes family members of people with disabilities and individuals with business expertise. The Board's commitment includes providing affordable trust services to individuals and families of modest means."
A 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation recognized as a pooled trust as defined in 42 USC 1396p(d)(4)(C)

About MSNT

Missouri Family Trust was established as a result of advocacy by parents and professionals who realized that many obstacles hinder planning for the financial future of individuals with disabilities. The organization was created by statute (RSMo 402.199 – 402.208) in 1989 for the primary purpose of administering special needs trusts for persons with disabilities to protect important public benefits such as Medicaid and SSI.  As authorized and specified by statute, the Missouri Family Trust was incorporated as a non-profit and received IRS 501(c)(3) charitable designation.

Pooled Trust and MSNT Charitable Grant Program

In 1993 when Congress created public benefit exemptions for Special Needs Trusts, they included provisions to support not for profit trustees and their charitable missions. Federal Social Security and Medicaid statutes allow non-profit organizations to retain a portion of a trust account balance at the death of the beneficiary before Medicaid payback to be used by the trustee for its charitable mission.


February 2020
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Bianca Farr joins Midwest Special Needs Trust

Bianca Farr has a passionate and long-standing history of serving individuals and families with disabilities. Bianca developed her skills in this area at the University of Missouri- Columbia graduating with a BA in Psychology and a Master’s in Social Work. After graduating Bianca focused on a career driven path to enhance the quality of life […]

Brain Injury Association of MO 2019 Professional Conference

IT Director Gabe Wilkerson and Brain Injury Association of Missouri Executive Director Maureen Cunningham at the BIA-MO 15th Annual Statewide Professional Conference held on October 3-5 in Merryville, MO.

Is a Special Needs Trust Right for You?

October was National Special Needs Law Month, which promoted awareness of the legal rights of people with special needs, their families and their caregivers — the perfect time to explore your options. Learn more about what to know and do if you’re considering a trust.

2019 Missouri Elder Law Symposium

Nathan McKee, Trust Specialist II, Mary Lou Hughes, Trust Specialist III, Diana Love, MoNAELA Chapter Executive and Brian Quinn, MoNAELA Board President attending the 2019 Missouri Elder Law Symposium at the Ameristar Casino Resort in Saint Charles, MO in December.

MACDDS Conference 2019

Charitable Trust Specialist Heather Allen and Trust Specialist III Casie Stephens were excited to speak at the Missouri Association of County Developmental Disabilities Services (MACDDS) Conference held on October 17 and 18 in Columbia, MO. Heather and Casie are pictured with Connie Cunningham, Executive Director of MACDDS.

Model Employer Showcase 2019

Midwest Special Needs Trust’s Casie Stephens, Trust Specialist III, and Heather Allen, Charitable Trust Specialist with Missouri Governor Mike Parson while supporting the Missouri as a Model Employer Talent Showcase on October 10th at the Missouri State Capitol. The Talent Showcase event was a reverse career fair that provided individuals with disabilities a way to […]

Association of Trust Organizations 2019

MSNT Executive Director Kathy Birkes and Trust Specialist Mary Lou Hughes at the Association of Trust Organizations annual meeting with ATO President Stuart Allen and Board member, Phil Buchanan.

Real Voices Real Choices 2019

Trust Specialists Casie Stephens and Sterling Odneal and Charitable Trust Specialist Heather Allen exhibiting at the Real Voices Real Choices Conference on August 26, 2019.

ARC of Missouri Education Summit 2019

Charitable Trust Specialist Heather Allen and Trust Specialist II Nathan McKee exhibiting at the Arc of Missouri Education Summit on September 10, 2019.

MSNT 30th anniversary featured on Mediacom Newsleaders

MSNT’s Executive Director Kathy Birkes speaks with James Mouser, host of Mediacom Newsleaders, about the upcoming 30th Anniversary.