Allowable Expenses

The no. 1 rule of a Special Needs Trust (SNT) is that the SNT should supplement government governments.

Every Disbursement Request (DR) will be reviewed carefully by the Trust Department and approved/disapproved on a case-by-case basis. Please note: all disbursement requests require documentation such as receipts, invoices, or training invoices.

The follow are just examples of allowable supplementary needs that can be paid using a SNT.  This list is not meant to be all inclusive. You can also download the Budget Plan for more examples of potential expenses. Please contact the Trust Department in advance of purchasing an item/service if you have questions.

Examples of Allowable Expenses:

  • Community supports such as:
    Sample receipt image
    All disbursement requests require documentation such as receipts or training invoices.
    • Advocacy, oversight, or monitoring
    • Respite
    • Some crisis intervention, guardianship
    • Some vocational rehabilitation or habilitation
    • Housekeeping services, attendant care, care management, maid services
    • Lawn care
  • Recreation and leisure such as:
    • Participation in sports, hobbies, recreational or cultural events, clubs
    • Vacations and travel i.e. Visiting friends, companionship
  • Supplementary food and shelter (occasional and periodic, beyond what is “necessary”), such as
    • Dining out
    • Home improvements and repairs
    • Furniture and appliances
      • TV
      • Computer and software
      • Bed and mattress
      • Washer and driver
    • Cost difference between shared and private room
  • Clothing
  • Transportation such as:
    • Purchase of a car
    • Car repair, maintenance, and insurance
    • Accessibility-related equipment and modifications
    • Bus, rail, and cab fare
    • Gas
  • Medical items such as certain therapies, medicines, and assistive technology/devises (not covered by Medicaid)
  • Health Insurance Premiums
  • Legal fees, accounting fees, etc.
  • Taxes
  • Education and Training such as:
    • Conferences and seminars
    • Publication subscriptions
    • School tuition, books, and supplies (including camps etc.)
    • Software
  • Other expenses to provide dignity, purpose, enjoyment for beneficiary
    • Eye care (e.g. eye glasses)
    • Dental care
    • Hair care
    • Pets and pet care
    • Games
    • Concerts, movies, sporting events
    • Music

This list is not exhaustive. Disbursements are based upon the Beneficiary’s unique needs, the Grantor(s)’s wishes, the effect on spending amounts, and legitimacy.

Certain expenses may require prior submission to and denial by a government agency to be considered a legitimate supplementary expense, including;

  • Requests for cash or
  • Requests for disbursements made payable to the Beneficiary
  • Disbursement requests for more than $1,000.00

For more information about Social Security Administration’s policies and procedures regarding trust disbursements, please read SSA Program Operations Manual System (POMs) at:

If you are not receiving means-tested benefits, then there may be no restrictions on disbursements.