Special Needs Trusts

What Supplemental Expenses Can Special Needs Trusts Pay For?

by Rania Combs

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

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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  1. How To Administer a Special Needs Trust – Texas Wills and Trusts Online

    April 10, 2013 at 12:07pm

    […] What Supplemental Expenses Can Special Needs Trusts Pay For? […]

  2. Lisa Davis

    February 25, 2019 at 2:49am

    I need to know will the arc of texas trust pay for private tutoring?

    1. Rania Combs

      April 24, 2019 at 5:48pm

      Permissible disbursements include programs for training and education as well as social, recreational and entertainment opportunities.