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Overview of Rules and Requirements - Special Disability Trusts


Last amended: 27 May 2011

Trustee requirements

A trustee of a special disability trust (SDT) must meet specific requirements.    

Transitional trusts

An exemption notice can be given to trustees of a trust established before 20 September 2006 if the trust satisfies certain conditions.    

Reporting requirements

The trustee must provide the financial statements of the trust as at 30 June of the relevant financial year.    

Non-complying SDT

If a trust becomes non-complying it will be assessed under normal trust and company rules.    


The Commission may issue a waiver notice to a non-complying trust for a short time while the non-compliance is rectified.    

Investment rules

The trustee must follow an investment strategy which enables the trust to pay for the reasonable care and accommodation needs of the principal beneficiary.    

Expenditure rules

The trust must comply with the determination that sets out the limits on discretionary spending for other purposes.     

Audit requirements

An audit of the SDT can be requested at any time by the principal beneficiary or other specified people and must be carried out within a reasonable time.    

Obligations in relation to special disability trusts

A trustee of an SDT has obligations to DVA in relation to that trust.    

According to section 52ZZZW of the VEA, a special disability trust is a trust that has been established solely in order to provide for the current and future care and accommodation needs of the beneficiary who is a person with a severe disability.



Financial year, in relation to a company, means:

  • a period of 12 months beginning on 1 July, or
  • if some other period is the company's tax year that other period.