The world of disability support can be intricate, especially when considering financial options. But navigating this maze doesn’t have to be daunting, especially with tools like Special Disability Trusts (SDTs). These legal entities are specifically designed to support individuals with severe disabilities, both financially and in terms of ensuring their well-being.

Here’s how SDTs work their magic:

  • Exclusively for those with severe disabilities: At the heart of an SDT is the “principal beneficiary,” someone with significant limitations in their daily lives due to a severe disability. This ensures the trust’s resources are focused on those who truly need them.
  • One person, one trust: Unlike other trusts with multiple beneficiaries, an SDT is laser-focused on the specific needs of its one and only principal beneficiary. All resources and decisions revolve around enhancing their quality of life.
  • Caring for their needs, first and foremost: Forget about fancy investments or unrelated expenses. The sole purpose of an SDT is to provide for the beneficiary’s essential care and accommodation needs. Think therapy, assistive technology, or accessible housing – anything that directly improves their daily living.
  • Playing it by the legal book: Every SDT needs a proper trust deed or a will provision to be recognized legally. This document guarantees compliance with regulations and ensures the trust operates with integrity.
  • Double the accountability, double the peace of mind: To manage the trust responsibly, there are two options: either have multiple trustees or appoint a professional trustee. This ensures careful decision-making and keeps everything above board.
  • Staying updated, staying compliant: Like any good citizen, an SDT needs to follow the law. Regular checks with agencies like Centrelink or DVA ensure the trust functions smoothly and retains its special status.
  • Transparency is key: Every year, an SDT needs to share its financial details and a statutory declaration with the relevant authorities. This open communication builds trust and proves the funds are used appropriately.
  • When necessary, special disability trusts must undergo independent audits. This additional layer of scrutiny reinforces accountability and ensures that the trust’s operations align with established guidelines.

The Takeaway:

Understanding the ins and outs of SDTs is crucial for families and individuals navigating the complexities of disability support. By meeting these requirements, accessing SDTs unlocks valuable means test concessions, easing the financial burden and paving the way for improved well-being. So, explore your options, advocate for those in need, and empower individuals on their journey towards a brighter future.

If you have any questions, need assistance, or would like to explore how a Special Disability Trust could benefit your situation, we’re here to help. Contact us today by clicking here

For personalised financial assistance tailored to your unique needs, connect with the dedicated team at Forman Financial Services, our trusted sister company specialising in comprehensive financial solutions. Click here.

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.