4.14.1 Overview of special disability trusts
This section contains general information on the measure that has effect from 20 September 2006. A special disability trust is a trust established primarily for succession planning by parents and immediate family members for the future care and accommodation needs of a person with severe disability.
'Special' refers to the social security treatment of the trust and is not a reference to the principal beneficiary's disability.
Characteristics of special disability trusts
Before the means test concessions can be granted, a trust must legally exist. In general, for a trust to then be considered a 'special disability trust', it must meet the following requirements:
- the principal beneficiary (also known as beneficiary) must have a severe disability
- have only one principal beneficiary (i.e. the person for whom the trust is established)
- the primary purpose must be to provide for the care and accommodation needs of the principal beneficiary
- have a trust deed, or be established via a will, that contains all of the compulsory clauses set out in the model trust deed (for trusts established before 20 September 2006, the trustee can be issued with a waiver notice for certain requirements)
- have more than one trustee OR a professional trustee
- comply with the legislative requirements
- provide annual financial statements and a statutory declaration to Centrelink or DVA, and
- conduct independent audits when required.
Act reference: SSAct section 1209M Beneficiary requirements, section 1209Q Trustee requirements, section 1209R Trust property requirements, section 1209S Reporting requirements, section 1209T Audit requirements, section 1209U Waiver of contravention of this Division