Do You Know the New Rule Governing Allowance of Payments of Companion Services and Caregiving Expenses for SNT Beneficiaries?

HNWSpecial Needs Trusts for Minor Children and Adults

  • The Social Security Administration (SSA) has long had issues with Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) that include provisions for paying for companion care services and caregiving.

The revised policy rules of the SSA address this issue by allowing third-party trustees to make distributions for companion services and caregiving.  The revised rules state that “[p]ayment for companion services can be a valid expense[,]”.  For example, an Alzheimer’s patient who cannot be left alone and requires a sitter can be paid.  Incidental expenses incurred by the companion in the course of providing services also can be paid by the trust.

These revised rules resolve the prior struggle by stating, “Family members may normally [provide care] without compensation, but that does not prohibit the trust from paying for these services.

SSA’s new policy better serves the interests of SNT beneficiaries.  Companion services and caregiving significantly enrich the quality of life for persons with disabilities.  The revised POMS policy authorizing companion services and caregiving expenses provides SNT trustees with confidence that is acceptable to pay companions and caregivers, even if they are family members.

To discuss your NJ special needs trust matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County NJ Special Needs Trust Attorney

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