Glossary Ryan Braun August 22, 2022

Housing Options Guide GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Additional Glossaries are available here:

The Social Security Administration offers a English-Spanish Wordbank Glossary here:

NOTE: See the Information and Resources section for additional information.

Glossary of Terms

A tax-advantaged savings account for individuals with disabilities and their families. The right to open an ABLE account was established in 2014 with the passage of the Stephen Beck JrAchieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (Public Law 113-295) was signed, amending the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. In Ohio this is called a STABLE account.

A type of trust that can be used for people with disabilities. It is created by a third party (not the beneficiary). The funds belong to a third party and the trustee has total discretion in determining how assets are distributed. There is no state payback provision and the creator of the trust can stipulate where funds go when the person with a disability is deceased. Because it is not specifically a Special Needs Trust, a discretionary trust must clearly describe why the funds should be exempt from counting as a resource to the beneficiary for purposes of determining benefits.

The estimated amount of money a property with a certain number of bedrooms will rent for in a particular area. It can often be estimated based on amounts paid for similar rentals in the neighborhood.  The fair market rent is used by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to determine how much rent should be covered through Section 8 for individuals with low income, and is sometimes used by tax appraisers to determine tax rates. FMR is updated annually.

The amount that each individual in a household is responsible for spending each month on food and shelter. If you live alone, it is the full cost of food and shelter. If you live with others, it is an equal portion of the total food and shelter expenses. For example, if you and three other people live together and spend a total of $4,000 per month on rent, utilities, and food, a fair share for each of you would be $1,000. For the Supplemental Security Income program and some other programs, whether an adult pays the fair share of expenses may affect benefits eligibility or benefit amounts.

See “Special Needs Trust”

A not-for-profit public corporation that is chartered under state law to work with local, state and federal governments and other agencies to develop long-term housing strategies for communities. Housing authorities receive funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and are subject to federal regulation.

The Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) provides federally subsidized housing and housing assistance to low-income families within all of Hamilton County. 

Locations of other Public Housing Agencies can be found on the HUD website.

Programs within Medicaid that provide opportunities for beneficiaries to receive services in their own home or community rather than institutions or other isolated settings. These programs serve a variety of targeted population groups, such as people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and/or mental illnesses.

Federal government assistance for very low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities to enable them to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects. Landlords are not required to participate, and may refuse to accept a voucher.

A non-profit agency whose mission is to provide housing options to those whom the private housing market does not adequately serve. In our region, non-profit housing corporations have contracts with the County Boards of Developmental Disabilities to develop, acquire, and manage permanent, affordable housing for individuals with disabilities. The Housing Network of Hamilton County and Partnership for Housing in Butler County are two non-profit Housing Corporations in our region.

Food or shelter that somebody else provides for a person. The Social Security Administration counts ISM as income when they figure the amount of that person’s SSI benefits. For example, if someone helps pay for rent, mortgage, food, or utilities, this will reduce the amount of SSI benefits.

A legal structure whereby the individual members of the company are not personally liable for the company’s debts or liabilities.

A professional who is not a member is hired to make operational decisions for the company. This hired non-member is a Manager.
One or more members (owners) manage(s) the company’s day-to-day business and has authority to contract on behalf of the company. Members with this authority are commonly called Managing Members, Founding Members or Principals.

Cash on hand or an asset that can be readily converted to cash.

provision in Medicaid law which allows the federal government to waive rules (such as income restrictions) that usually apply to the Medicaid program. The intention is to allow individual states to accomplish certain goals. In Ohio specific Medicaid waivers (Individual Options, Level I and Self-empowered Life Funding) are administered by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) and County Boards of Developmental Disabilities to provide services to people who require institutional-level care so they can live in the community.

An organization dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a shared point of view. An NPO uses any revenue funds in excess of its expenses to further achieve its ultimate objective, rather than distributing its income to the organization’s shareholders, leaders, or members. Nonprofits can apply to the Internal Revenue Service to be exempt from income tax on the money that they receive for their organization.

Glossary (continued)

A legal document that outlines the ownership and member duties of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Non-Profit Organization (NPO). This agreement allows the LLC to set out the financial and working relations among business owners, also called members, and between members and managers.

A type of Special Needs Trust that is established and managed by a non-profit organization. It is a trust that pools together all of the assets of the people who have accounts through the trust, as well as assets acquired through outside donations, and makes distributions to the beneficiaries based on their individual shares of the trust’s assets. Pooled trusts relieve family members of the job of being the trustee, with professionals assuming this role. There is no requirement for a payback to reimburse the state for Medicaid expenses, but funds must be retained in the trust for the benefit of other beneficiaries. The Community Fund Management Foundation and the Disability Foundation are two pooled trusts operating in Ohio.

Legal process by which the assets of a deceased person are properly distributed (if they made a will) to the designated beneficiaries and heirs, or (if they died without a will) according to the local law by a court appointed administrator. The court’s objective is to ensure that the deceased’s debts, taxes and other valid claims are paid out of the estate before any distribution is made to the beneficiaries.

See “Housing Authority”

A change, exception, or adjustment to a policy, practice or service that may be necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, including public and common use spaces.

An action that a tenant may take against a landlord to receive relief from the landlord’s failure to repair housing violations. Placing rent with the court administrator is a way to try to force action by the landlord, when the landlord is disregarding requests that come directly from the tenant.

See “Housing Choice Voucher”

A person who is self-employed or employed by an agency to provide Medicaid-funded services to people with disabilities. Providers of these services are certified by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and bill for services through the Medicaid Waiver.

A Medicaid service authorized and monitored by county boards of developmental disabilities for people who choose to live with a certified caregiver who receives a stipend to provide for at least 20% of their personal care and supportive services. This service can be in the caregiver’s home or in the home of a person that needs support. Information about Ohio Shared Living is here.

A program by Social Security that pays benefits to adults who have a disability that began before they became 22 years old, based on their work history and earnings record. Social Security Disability Adult Child (SSDAC) is the SSDI benefit that is based on the earnings record of the person’s parent. The parent must be deceased, have a disability themselves or be retired and accepting Social Security.  The amount of the SSDI/SSDAC monthly benefit is not affected by any other sources of income, including in-kind support and maintenance. After getting SSDI/SSDAC benefits for two years, the recipient automatically becomes eligible for Medicare health coverage.

A specialized trust that allows a beneficiary with a disability access to assets held in the trust for their benefit, while at the same time allowing them to receive essential needs-based government benefits. A Special Needs Trust will be legally valid so long as it meets several preconditions outlined in federal law under Title 42 United States Code Section 1396p(d)(4)(A).

    • It must be a spendthrift trust (assets are available to the beneficiary but with significant restrictions) and can only pay for things that public benefits do not cover.
    • It must be irrevocable.
    • The beneficiary has to be a person who exhibits a significant impairment in areas of daily living.
    • It has to be established prior to the beneficiary’s 65th birthday.
    • It has to function under its own Employer Identification Number (EIN).
    • It must contain “Medicaid payback language” specifying that any assets contained within the trust are subject to a lien by Medicaid upon the death of the beneficiary (whether a lien is assessed or not) to reimburse the State for medical assistance paid on behalf of the beneficiary through the Medicaid system.

Funds to create the trust can belong to the beneficiary (First person trust) or someone else (Third person trust).

ABLE account administered by the state of Ohio.  More information can be found here.

A lease contract between an original tenant and a subtenant. With approval of the landlord, the original leaseholder leases all or part of their rented apartment or house to another person.

A  program administered by Social Security that makes monthly payments to people with low income and limited resources who are 65 or older, blind, or have a disability.

    • A child younger than 18 years-old can qualify if they have a medical condition or combination of conditions that meets Social Security’s definition of disability for children, and if the household income and resources fall within the eligibility limits.
    • At age 18, the individual becomes an adult in the Social Security system and must be re-evaluated to determine if they meet the criteria for adult disability. As an adult, only the income and resources of the individual (and spouse) are used to determine eligibility instead of full household income of individuals living with parents. The amount of the monthly payment can change with any change in income or resources. Any in-kind support or maintenance the individual receives is considered income and can reduce monthly payments.

See “Special Needs Trust”

A financial arrangement in which one party, the trustor, gives another party, the trustee, legal right to hold assets for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary.

Created by a Home Think Tank workgroup. 

Information on this sheet is provided for informational purposes only. Nothing in this document should be considered legal or accounting advice. Contact a professional for information pertinent to your specific situation.

© 2022 Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services

This document may be reproduced and distributed without modification.