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. Gifting to a special disability trust


This topic contains information on the following:

  • who can gift to the trust, and
  • types of gifts.

Who can gift to the trust

Once a special disability trust has been established anyone, or an organisation or corporation, can make a gift to a special disability trust.

The exceptions are:

  • the settlor of the special disability trust

    • Explanation: The person who establishes the trust is called the settlor and they cannot be a donor to the trust (refer to section 1.7 of the model trust deed).
  • the principal beneficiary (i.e. the person with severe disability) and their partner (if any) unless the contributions by the principal beneficiary (and their partner) are funded by a bequest or superannuation death benefit within 3 years of receipt of the bequest or superannuation death benefit
    • Example: Joe's dad sets up a special disability trust for him in October 2006. Joe's grandmother died in 2005 and left Joe $10,000 in her will. Joe can gift the $10,000 to his special disability trust provided he does so within 3 years of receiving the $10,000 from his grandmother.
  • no person or organisation can gift compensation money received by or on behalf of the principal beneficiary.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1) Dictionary, section 1209R Trust property requirements

Types of gifts

All gifts must be unconditional (refer to section 3 of the model trust deed).

Apart from the exceptions, anyone can gift to the special disability trust as many times as they like provided the gifts are unconditional.

Any type of assets can be gifted to the special disability trust provided they can be used to produce income or provide care and accommodation for the principal beneficiary.

Example: A person may wish to gift a share portfolio or an investment property. The income from these sources could then be used by the trust to pay for someone to provide care for the person with severe disability.

Act reference: SSAct section 1209Z(1) Effect of certain transfers to special disability trusts

Policy reference: SS Guide Gifting concession for special disability trusts

Last reviewed: