What Can My Special Needs Trust Pay For That Will Not Affect My Disability Payment?

Video Summary

What can my Special Needs Trust pay for that will not affect my disability payments? Well, that's actually a really good question. First and foremost, you have to consider what the terms of your actual Special Needs Trust say, because the terms are definitively going to dictate what the trustee of the Special Needs Trust can and cannot provide expenditures for, for the beneficiary. One of the most common terms in a Special Needs Trust allows the trustee to have discretion when it comes to certain things that are not going to be covered by public benefits. Some of those things include rehabilitation equipment. Other things may even include certain expenditures for vacations or things of that nature, if it benefits the well being of the beneficiary.

It's very difficult to give a general standard as far as what the trustee can do that will not affect your disability, but you're going to again have to look at the terms that govern the trust. Anything that necessarily would not be covered by the public benefits programs. For instance, let's say you have a beneficiary who has a severe disability with respect to their physical being. You're going to be looking at situations where you may have the authority as the trustee to pay for specific surgeries, possibly elective surgeries that would not be covered by those federal programs or even the state programs of which the person is already receiving benefits and entitlement to. Generally speaking, that's what you're looking at. There may be certain expenditures for things such as education, even potentially housing allowances. Again, the terms of the trust are going to govern this and Special Needs Trusts, especially if you're talking about a self-settled Special Needs Trust is going to require court approval in order to get it setup and funded.

If you have any other questions regarding Special Needs Trust or their interplay or the responsibilities or duties of a trustee, please give me a call here at Waller & Mitchell at 727-847-2288.