If your special needs child needs you at this moment, you can provide for them. However, the reality is that you can’t promise that you will be around forever to support your child, or that you will always have the means to do so.
Even if you have made investments to fund your special needs child’s future, you still have no guarantee that the money you leave behind will be used by the appointed guardians for the benefit of your child.
The Special Disability Trust ensures that the money you have saved goes exactly where you dictate to benefit your special needs child.
In Australia, Special Disability Trusts have been giving families many advantages since 2006. These include capital gains tax exemption for the following:
- Assets donated to a Special Disability Trust
- Main residence of the special needs child in the future
- The recipient of the beneficiary’s main residences should he or she pass on
In addition, families and beneficiaries only get personal income tax rate deductions for any unused Special Disability Trust income before they claim the final cash amount.
In 2011, the Australian government made improvements to the Special Disability Trust benefits and added the following:
- Allow the beneficiary to work for up to seven hours a week and earn above minimum wage if they can
- The Trust can pay for their medical expenses and for private health fund memberships
- The Trust can also pay for the beneficiary’s main residence needs (utilities, repairs, maintenance)
- Provide $10,000 yearly for anything the beneficiary needs outside of medical care
Provide and Ensure Financial Support Beyond Your Lifetime
As per its benefits, parents and immediate relatives can use the Special Disability Trust to plan for the current and future needs of special needs family members.
To create your Special Disability Trust, you need to have the following:
- A trust deed that a lawyer can create for you
- Independent trustees, which can be more than one
- An understanding of the Special Disability Trust’s investment restrictions
- Annual financial statements for the duration of your employment
- Personal audits when needed
Note that eligibility requires an assessment verifying that the disability of the prospective beneficiary is severe. The criteria for severe disability, according to Section 1209M of the Social Security Act 1991, are the following:
- A person who has reached 16 years of age with a disability that qualifies a caregiver for Carer Payment or Allowance
- A person who has reached 16 years of age and qualifies for Disability Support Pension
- A child under 16 years of age with a carer who has achieved the qualifying score of “intense” based on the Disability Care Load Assessment of the child
In case you need assistance in creating a disability trust or would like to learn more about your other options, simply enter your details in the box on the right