A common question by beneficiaries is related to their pets. “Can my Special Needs Trust pay for a pet or provide care for my pet? The answer to this question is yes, of course! Disbursements made from a beneficiary’s Special Needs Trust for his or her pet(s) will not interfere or jeopardize a beneficiary’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medi-Cal (California Medicaid Program). Making disbursements for the beneficiary’s pet(s) does not violate the sole benefit rule for a First Party Special Needs Trust.

Examples of Allowable Items/Services for Pets (Not an Exhaustive List)

  • Any pet supplies (leash, tags, bedding, etc.)
  • Purchasing a pet for the beneficiary
  • Veterinarian Services
  • Grooming Services
  • Pet food
  • Pet toys
  • Dog walkers
  • Pet sitting