How a Mom Weighed Down by Trustee Responsibilities Outsourced the Overwhelm to True Link
For every person who receives a True Link Visa® Prepaid Card, there is a unique story of how a family or professional uses our tools to enhance quality of life. Recently, we learned of a mom who first heard about True Link from another parent acting as trustee for their child.
A dedicated parent wants to do everything right
When Paula first started working with an Attorney to establish her son’s Supplemental Needs Trust, she already knew she wanted to take on the responsibility of being his trustee. Her son, whom we’ll call Ricardo, had just turned eighteen and she wanted to make sure he was able to access everything he needed when he needed it — particularly during his transition to a group home.
So far, Ricardo was doing well and was happy living with other young adults with developmental disabilities, but this was his first time making purchases for himself. Ricardo relied on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to cover the costs of his housing and food, and Paula worried about him accidentally using trust funds for purchases that could compromise these benefits. She’d been reading up on “in kind support and maintenance” and its impact on SSI, and the stress of Ricardo unintentionally losing these funds kept her up at night.
A recommendation from a fellow parent
When Paula was sharing her concerns at a gathering of parents who also had children with disabilities, a fellow mom recommended she look into True Link. After doing some of her own research and seeing how easy it was to get started, she ordered a Visa card for her son.
How True Link helped alleviate a mom’s worries
Since incorporating the True Link Visa Card into their everyday routine, here are some of the things Paula and Ricardo love:
Less stress about losing benefits because of spending mistakes
While Paula has explained to Ricardo that he can’t purchase food with his trust funds, she knows how much he enjoys a stuffed crust pizza, which isn’t often on the menu at his group home. With True Link’s platform, Paula doesn’t have to rely on Ricardo remembering to not order pizza. Instead, she can customize where the Visa card works and where it doesn’t. That way, Paula can block transactions on food delivery apps or at restaurants to help protect Ricardo’s benefits, while Ricardo can still freely do the things he loves with his friends, such as bowling or mini golf, without worrying about making a spending mistake.
Budgeting for trust funds to last as long as possible
Paula works as a public school teacher so she’s had to pinch pennies to put away money for Ricardo’s future. In addition to public benefits, these trust funds are the only resources her son relies on, so it’s important they last for many years, especially when Paula is no longer around to support him. With True Link’s platform, Paula can schedule a set amount of funds to disburse automatically from his trust account every week and prevent transactions over a certain amount to help keep spending within the budget. Ricardo understands that there are limits for how much he can spend, and he knows he can always call or text True Link’s automated phone system anytime to learn how much money he has available.
A system that handles the reporting and recordkeeping
As a teacher, Paula’s days can get very busy and she doesn’t have a lot of experience creating and updating spreadsheets, so she was relieved to discover that True Link’s platform can automatically generate reports to keep track of spending history. Not only does this save her time, but Paula can use these reports to help Ricardo stay on budget and be prepared for potential audits.
More quality time together
Before True Link, Paula and Ricardo spent a lot of time talking about money when they were together — questions about what he was buying, requests for more cash, reminders of spending rules. Paula was so worried about his financial situation that she felt it was getting harder and harder to enjoy quality time with her son. Now, they’re able to put the money conversations mostly aside and instead share life updates — like about a new friend Ricardo made or the funny prank Paula’s student played on her last week. There’s a lot more laughter and joy than there used to be, and their relationship has remained strong as Ricardo made his transition into a group home
Managing the duties of a trustee while also being a mom can create tension — so it’s important to find ways to help balance those responsibilities while maintaining healthy family relationships. Since using True Link, Paula has felt like a huge weight has been lifted. She spends less time worrying about money and whether Ricardo will lose his benefits and more time connecting with her son as he navigates this next phase of his life.