A general support special needs trust can pay for virtually any service needed by the beneficiary. These supplemental trusts, however, have stringent rules on how distributions can be made to a beneficiary.

It is assumed that the person receiving government benefits has his or her most basic needs provided. The trust is intended to supplement or fill in any gaps in coverage and, occasionally, those gaps might broadly be categorized as housing, food or clothing.

Common special needs trust disbursements include:

  • Recreational and vocational activities
  • Hobbies and vacations
  • Educational and training opportunities
  • Communications equipment or computers
  • Professional services, including attorneys, accountants and claims processors
  • A pet, veterinary services, food and supplies
  • Medical costs not covered by Medicaid, such as vitamins and massages

As long as the items do not jeopardize eligibility for governmental programs and have a direct benefit for the beneficiary, the trustee may consider making distributions to provide a quality of life that suits the individual.


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