What Can A Special Needs Trust Pay For?
Last modified: 2 days ago | 2/12/2019
- Medical and dental expenses not covered elsewhere
- Special equipment like wheelchairs or specially-equipped vans
- Therapy or rehabilitation services
- Training and education
- Travel, which can include the cost of a companion
- Recreation and entertainment (summer camp, movies or social events, videos, sports equipment)
- Electronic equipment and appliances, computers
- Payments for a companion
- Legal or guardianship expenses
- Burial expenses
And here are some things a special needs trust can spend money on that you may not have thought of:
- a car
- a rideshare membership (Uber, Lyft, etc.)
- a bus/rail pass
- a vacation
- a home
- help with starting a business
However, there are other things a special needs trust should avoid paying for. Trustees should typically never give an SSI or Medicaid beneficiary cash or a cash equivalent, or pay for food or shelter — at least without first consulting a special needs planner.
The trustee, in consultation with the planner, might want to use trust funds for food and shelter if the trustee decides doing so is in the trust beneficiary’s best interest despite a possible loss or reduction in public assistance.
Once you have taken cash, housing and food off the table, however, a special needs trust can typically pay for most other things a beneficiary might need to supplement his lifestyle. But because these rules are very complicated, it is always best to sit down with your special needs planner to discuss what you intend to do with your trust before making any payments to anyone.