Question: Can a special needs trust pay for the beneficiary’s doctor-prescribed special diet?

Answer: The short answer is yes. However, it is still up to the trustee to decide whether to pay for it or not. Plus, if the beneficiary is on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the payment for food may cause the SSI to be reduced by around $260 a month. Because some trust documents do not allow a trustee to make a disbursement if it will reduce public benefits, the trustee may not be able to do so.  Most trusts would allow this type of disbursement, and even if yours doesn’t, you could make the argument that if a doctor prescribed it, it is for medical reasons and should not be considered food.

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