Using Your Trust I or Trust II Account

We work to make it as easy as possible to access your trust account once it is funded. From “Access Your Trust Account Services” on our website you can make a disbursement request, pay your Trust I Renewal Fee, make a deposit to add money to a trust account, and update benefits information. And, of course, you can always call or email us with any questions.

We are committed to doing everything in our power to use the beneficiary’s account to provide him or her the best possible quality of life without jeopardizing valuable public benefits. We say yes to disbursement requests whenever possible, so long as the disbursement will not jeopardize public benefits, is for the sole benefit of the beneficiary and is otherwise in the beneficiary’s best interest. We are committed to seeing that beneficiaries of Trust I and Trust II are able to access their trust accounts with dignity and with as little difficulty as possible.

 What Can I Purchase with My Arc Trust?

It is impossible to draft an all-inclusive list of what goods and services can and cannot be purchased with a special needs trust. Following are items that are routinely covered.

Furniture * Personal Care Items * Clothing * Mattress/Box Springs * Vehicles * Television/Stereo, etc. * Eyeglasses/Contacts * Toys * Vacations * Hobby Supplies * Gasoline * Essential Dietary Needs * Computers/Software * Pets/Pet Supplies * Games * Washer/Dryer * Guitar, Musical Instrument, etc. * Household Products and Supplies * Kitchen Appliances/Tools * School Tuition * Household Appliances * Outdoor Grill * Prepaid Funeral Expenses

Cell Phone Services * Internet * Cable TV * Hair Care * Transportation * Auto and Renter’s Insurance * Eye and Dental Care * Entertainment Expenses * Tuition to Camps, Classes, etc. * Athletic or Recreational Fees * Auto Repair/Maintenance * Attendant Care * Rehabilitation * Pet Grooming/Veterinarian Bills * Tickets to Concerts, Movies, Sporting Events, etc * Music Lessons * Maid Services * Home Modifications/Improvements * Field Trips/Day Trips, etc. * Therapeutic Massage * Vehicle modifications to make accessible * HVAC Services * Attorney/Accountant/Financial Planning * Seminar/Training/Conference Expenses 

Disbursements must be made for the sole benefit of the beneficiary.  If the beneficiary lives with family or has roommates, living expenses will be divided among all the individuals living in the home.

If the beneficiary is a minor, the trust can only pay for items directly related to the individual’s disability. Once the beneficiary turns 18, he or she may access any of the goods or services listed.

Recurring Expenses – If you would like the trust to pay a monthly bill, such as cable tv or cell phone service, please contact us to discuss if this is an expense that can be paid for by the trust. If approved, we will discuss the procedure for setting up this process.

Information Regarding SSI Supplemental Securing Income (SSI) is a benefit paid by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to individuals with a disability who have not paid (or hve not paid enough) into the Social Security System by paying FICA taxes to be able to draw SSDI.

SSA says that the SSI benefit is to pay for food and shelter costs. Their definition of food and shelter is:

  • Rent
  • Mortgage
  • Utility payments (home heating oil or gas, water, electric, sewage, trash removal)
  • Property Taxes
  • Home Owner’s Insurance, if required by the mortgage company
  • Food, which includes groceries, eating out, and snacks purchased from a convenience store

If the trust is used to pay food or shelter expenses for an SSI recipient, then the SSI check could be reduced up to SSI’s Presumed Maximum Value (PMV), which is currently 1/3 of the SSI check plus $20. Therefore, The Arc Master Trust is reluctant to pay food or shelter expenses of our beneficiaries receiving SSI and will instead try to find other monthly expenses that are not on the list (telephone and cable for instance). There may even be certain limited circumstances when the trust can be used to pay these expenses even if the beneficiary receives SSI.  This will always need to be approved by the trust director and an agreement must be signed that says the beneficiary, guardian and/or key person understands there could be a reduction in the SSI check.

Additionally, SSI does not allow the trust to be used to purchase gifts for others.  However, the beneficiary’s trust can be used to purchase their own gifts at holidays and birthdays. Trust funds from accounts for SSI beneficiaries should not be used to purchase any kind of gift cards since doing so may cause a reduction or loss of SSI.

The following items are generally NOT approved for disbursement from The Arc Master Trust. 

  • Checks written to the beneficiary or placed into the beneficiary’s bank account
  • Distributions for loans to friends, family members or others without appropriate documentation
  • Alcohol
  • Gaming and gambling
  • Firearms and other weapons

Important Information on Prepaying Funerals 

Due to state and federal laws, a trust cannot be used to pay for funeral expenses after a trust beneficiary’s death. However, the beneficiary’s trust account can be used to pre-pay any and all funeral expenses during his or her lifetime. We strongly urge all trust beneficiaries to pre-pay the expenses associated with their funeral, burial plot, headstone and other related expenses before their death. This can be done by using trust funds to purchase an irrevocable funeral trust.

To establish an irrevocable funeral trust, contact a funeral home of your choice. They will guide you through the process of pre-planning a funeral, determining the cost, and establishing the funeral trust.

Once the irrevocable funeral trust is established, the contract can be mailed, faxed or emailed to The Arc Master Trust office.  We will process the disbursement and mail the check to the funeral home.  You will have the peace of mind knowing that you need not worry about this expense in the future.