The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Special Disability Trust Compliance


This topic contains information on the following:

  • compliance process, and
  • special disability trust becomes non-complying.

Compliance process

To be a complying special disability trust:

  • a trust must have a trust deed that complies with the compulsory conditions, set out in the model trust deed, or be issued with a waiver for those clauses which did not comply,
  • the trust must meet the on-going legislative requirements of a special disability trust,
  • the trustee must provide yearly financial statements certified by an accountant, who is a member of CPA Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, or National Institute of Accountants to Centrelink/DVA. The financial statements must follow the relevant Australian Accounting Standards,
  • Centrelink/DVA will have the power to ask the trustee/s for any documentation relating to the trust, including the trust's financial statements and tax return, and
  • the trust deed must allow the principal beneficiary and/or donor to request an independent audit if they are not satisfied with the management of the trust. Centrelink/DVA also have the power to be able to obtain an independent audit, at the trust's expense, including where there is reason to believe that the trust's assets are being misused.

Where one or more of these conditions are not satisfied a special disability trust may become non-compliant.

Special disability trust becomes non-complying

Where the trust becomes non-compliant, it will be assessed under the normal private trust and company rules from the date the trust was deemed by a delegate to be non-complying.

The Secretary may waive this contravention of compliance for a period of time while the contravention is rectified.

Policy reference: SS Guide Waivers for special disability trusts, 4.12 Means Test Treatment of Private Trusts & Private Companies from 01/01/2002

Last reviewed: