What Are "Supplemental Needs"?

The following examples, while not exhaustive, serve to illustrate the types of special, supplemental, non-support disbursements that are appropriate for the GTC Pooled Trust to make on behalf of the trust beneficiary:

  • Health and dental treatment and equipment for which there are not funds otherwise available
  • Rehabilitative and occupational therapy services
  • Medical procedures, even though not medically necessary or lifesaving
  • Medical insurance premiums
  • Supplemental nursing care
  • Supplemental dietary needs
  • Private case management
  • Companionship
  • Eyeglasses
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Cultural experiences
  • Art & hobby supplies
  • Movies, books, and subscriptions
  • Telephone service
  • Television and cable equipment and services
  • Stereo system
  • Training and education programs
  • Summer and day camps
  • Personal grooming services
  • Minor home modifications for accessibility


If you have other ideas for how you would like your family member to use his or her trust, but aren't sure if it would be considered a "supplemental need," please contact David Spragens, Compliance Director, at (615) 259-3610, ext. 14, or davidspragens@gtctn.org

Guardianship & Trusts Corporation established the Self-Settled and Third-Party Pooled Trusts in 2006 to provide an opportunity for families and individuals to set aside funds for the special needs of a beneficiary with a disability, while allowing that beneficiary to remain eligible for government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. While there is no maximum amount for a Pooled Trust account, they can be opened with as little as $2,500 -- a fraction of the required minimum for a traditional bank trust. Similarly, our fees are a fraction of what traditional bank trusts charge for their services. Both Pooled Trust types are Special Needs Trusts, meaning they can be used to pay for certain needs of the beneficiary without jeopardizing his or her government benefits.

How does it work?

Government benefits including Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid will only pay for a person's primary living needs: food, housing, and basic medical care. As Special Needs Trusts, the GTC Pooled Trusts are designed to retain the beneficiary’s qualification for government benefits while providing another source of funds that can be used to pay for supplemental needs including but not limited to eyeglasses, medical insurance premiums, diapers, supplemental care and other nonessential medical supplies and services. 

The Guardianship & Trusts Self-Settled and Third Party Pooled Trusts:

  • Serve Tennessee beneficiaries who meet the definition of a person with a disability under the Social Security Act
  • Affordable alternative to traditional bank trusts
  • Low minimum and no maximum funding requirements
  • Low enrollment costs and annual fees
  • Simple and prompt disbursement procedures
  • Funded either with the beneficiary's own money or with money from another source. Third-Party Pooled Trusts consist only of funds transferred directly from a third party who retains ownership over those funds until they are placed in the trust. Funds which are awarded to the beneficiary from a third party (as by a legal settlement or insurance policy payout) are considered to be the property of the beneficiary and cannot be used to fund a Third-Party Trust. 
  • Securely maintained at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.

Guardianship & Trusts Corp.

Pooled Trusts