Special Disability Trust Beneficiary Assessment Process

Who can be the beneficiary of a Special Disability Trust?

To be eligible to be a beneficiary of a Special Disability Trust, a person must meet the following definition of severe disability:

  • a person who has reached 16 years of age:
    • whose level of impairment would qualify the person for Disability Support Pension or who is already receiving a Department of Veterans' Affairs Invalidity Service Pension or Department of Veterans' Affairs Invalidity Income Support Supplement, and
    • who has a disability that would, if the person had a sole carer, qualify the carer for Carer Payment or Carer Allowance, or
    • who is living in an institution, hostel or group home in which care is provided for people with disabilities, and for which funding is provided under an agreement between the Commonwealth and states and territories, and
    • who has a disability as a result of which he or she is not working and/or has no likelihood of working for more than seven (7) hours a week for a wage that is at or above the relevant minimum wage,


  • a person under 16 years of age who is a profoundly disabled child as defined in SSAct section 197(1) who was a principal beneficiary immediately before 1 July 2009,


  • a child under 16 years of age:
    • who is a person with a severe disability or a severe medical condition, and
    • another person (the carer) has been given a qualifying rating of intense under the Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) Determination for caring for that person, and
    • a treating health professional has certified in writing that, because of that disability or condition:
      • the child will need personal care for 6 months or more, and
      • the child care is required to be provided by a specified number of persons.
    • the carer has certified in writing that the beneficiary will require the same care, or an increased level of care, to be provided to him or her in the future.

How is a beneficiary for a Special Disability Trust assessed?

People who are interested in setting up a Special Disability Trust should first contact the Department of Human Services’ Special Disability Trust Team by:

  • phoning 1800 734 750, for the cost of a local call except from mobile and pay phones, or
  • writing to Reply Paid 7819, CANBERRA  BC  ACT  2601, or
  • visiting the Special Disability Trusts page on  Department of Human Services' website.

An assessment officer will explain what a Special Disability Trust is and how it works, the process that needs to be followed and the information to be provided so that the beneficiary assessment can be completed.  They will also send on request the following:

In many cases, the Department of Human Services has most, if not all of the information for the beneficiary assessment already available. Where the information is not available, evidence needs to be supplied via a medical practitioner and if required the Department of Human Services will arrange for a work capacity assessment. This assessment is carried out by the Department of Human Services and there is no cost or obligation to proceed at any stage.


The Department of Social Services and the Department of Human Services are unable to recommend specific solicitors or financial advisers to consult about Special Disability Trusts. However, anyone (you as the Department of Human Services customer or your financial adviser or solicitor on your behalf) may call the 1800 734 750 number to discuss matters further.

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