What Supplemental Expenses Can Special Needs Trusts Pay For?

Unlike a support trust which direct that funds be used for the health, welfare, and support of a beneficiary, a Special Needs Trust (SNT) is a discretionary trust created to supplement the beneficiary’s basic needs. By being structured in this way, the trust both preserves the public benefits available to a beneficiary and enhances the quality of a disabled beneficiary’s life.

Below is a non-exclusive list of some types supplemental disbursements that are appropriate for a trustee of a special needs trust to make on behalf of a beneficiary:

  • Health and dental treatment and equipment for which there are not funds otherwise available
  • Rehabilitative and occupational therapy services
  • Medical procedures, even though not medically necessary or lifesaving
  • Medical insurance premiums
  • Supplemental nursing care
  • Supplemental dietary needs
  • Eyeglasses
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Companionship
  • Private case management
  • Cultural experiences
  • Expenses associated with bringing relatives or friends to visit with the beneficiary
  • Vacations
  • Movies
  • Telephone service
  • Television and cable equipment and services
  • Radios
  • Stereos
  • Training and education programs
  • Reading and educational materials

Source: The Arc of Texas Master Pooled Trust

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