Discover the criteria defining individuals eligible to be the principal beneficiary of a Special Disability Trust, providing access to tax and income support benefits.

Key Points:

– No Income Requirement: Income support payments are not a prerequisite. Eligibility is based on meeting the definition of severe disability.

– Disability Focus: The trust supports individuals with severe disabilities, irrespective of income or payment limitations.

– Examples: Individuals like Jane (excluded due to a lump sum settlement) or James (incarcerated) can still qualify if they meet the disability criteria.

Defining “Severe Disability”:

>For Adults (16+):

– Meets Disability Support Pension (DSP) criteria or receives DVA invalidity pension/ISS.

– Has a disability requiring a sole carer eligible for Carer Payment/Allowance or resides in a funded care facility for people with disabilities.

– Unable to work more than 7 hours a week at minimum wage.

  > For Children Under 16:

– Previously a principal beneficiary and classified as “profoundly disabled” before July 1, 2009.

– Has a severe disability or medical condition requiring personal care for at least 6 months, with a certified “intense” Disability Care Load Assessment rating for their carer.


– Eligibility is based on the individual’s disability, not their income or receipt of other benefits.

– This guide offers a simplified overview; for detailed information and specific circumstances, consult official sources such as Centrelink or DVA.

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Disclaimer and Warning
The information above is of a general nature only.  It should not be used as a source to make financial decisions.  It’s also important to note that the legislation and figures related to this topic tend to change regularly and therefore the information above may not reflect the current status.  We recommend that if you are looking for advice on this matter, you should contact us.