A Life Care Plan for Dependents With Special Needs
SpecialCare is a program developed by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) that provides access to information and resources to families with dependents, of any age, who have special needs.
You can get the help you need by coordinating with our specially trained professionals to help in the creation of a holistic life care plan, while balancing your own needs and those of other family members. The SpecialCare program takes a team approach to help ensure proper life care planning for the future of dependents with special needs.
Planning today can help with the recovery from the unexpected tomorrows.
Key Areas of Focus
Four critical areas you should consider when planning for the holistic future of your loved one with special needs includes the dependent’s financial, legal, medical, and educational needs.
You want the best for your dependent’s lifetime care, but sometimes sufficient financial resources to meet those needs may not be available. The death of one or both caregivers can easily disrupt the continuation of the dependent’s financial safety net.
And the unique supplies, equipment, and treatments your dependent needs can strain even families with significant personal assets. Fortunately, financial relief may be available. State and federal government programs, community resources, Social Security benefits, private foundations, medical insurance, and special education resources may be able to provide some aid. Consult city, county, state, and federal agencies for help in answering financial aid questions.
A Special Care Planner can assist families in determining how much money may be needed to provide for lifetime quality care for loved ones with special needs, financial strategies to achieve goals, and ways to protect future eligibility for government benefits.
Addressing legal issues is a crucial step in planning for the future. Creating and planning your estate is vital to meeting your dependent’s lifetime needs. These issues fall into three main categories: wills, special needs trusts, and guardianship or alternatives to guardianship. It’s important to work with an attorney who is qualified, experienced, and involved in the area of special needs.
Specialized medical treatment may be needed for individuals with special needs, sometimes beginning in a neo-natal intensive care unit and other times the need for such treatments arise much later in life. Precautions should be made to make the most out of medical insurance coverage whenever possible, otherwise you could be left holding the bill—or a large part of it.
Knowledge of special education laws and what they provide is the first step in ensuring your dependent with special needs gets the best education possible. It can include Early Intervention, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Individualized Education Program, Transition from School to Adult Life, and Due Process. Actively participating and being an advocate in your dependent’s educational plan will help with their future successes.
For Family Advisors
If you have clients who are caring for a person with special needs—a child, a spouse, or a dependent parent—our SpecialCare program can help by providing access to information, specialists, and financial solutions that can help you and your client:
Through our SpecialCare Program, MassMutual helps make a difference in the quality of life for people with special needs and their families and caregivers.