Special Care Planning
SpecialCareSM is a program that provides access to information, from what you need to know in order to provide the best care to your loved one, to how to manage the needs of yourself and other family members. For example, you'll learn why accepting a generous financial gift from a loving grandparent may not be in their best interest, and why disinheriting your child with special needs might be the right thing to do.
If you are caring for a person with a disability or other special need—a spouse, a child, sibling, dependent parent or other relative or friend—you should consider our SpecialCareSM program. The SpecialCareSM program, developed exclusively by Massachusetts Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), is an innovative outreach initiative that provides access to information, specialists, and financial products and services that can help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and other special needs and their families and caregivers.
The SpecialCareSM program takes a team approach to help ensure proper life care planning for the future of a person with a disability or other special need.
A Special Care Planner1 or a MassMutual Financial Services Representative with the Chartered Special Needs Consultant® (ChSNC) designation2 can work with you and your professional advisors—your banker, accountant or financial planner, lawyer, social workers and health care providers—to review your financial picture and offer options that make sense for your situation.
1 The Special Care Planner receives advanced training and information in estate and tax planning concepts, special needs trusts, government programs, and the emotional dynamics of working with people with disabilities and other special needs and their families. The certificate program is offered by The American College in Bryn Mawr, PA, exclusively for MassMutual Financial Services Representatives.
2 Chartered Special Needs Consultant (ChSNC®) — a professional designation awarded to those individuals who've completed 120 hours of academic classes in addition to holding either Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations and previously completing the Special Care Planner certification program. The ChSNC designation was developed by The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. The certification program and the professional designation evolved from MassMutual's SpecialCareSM Program.
By following a person-centered life care planning process, you can keep the person with a disability or other special need as the primary focus, and develop a life care plan that helps enable that person to obtain the best quality of life possible.
A life care plan is a coordinated program of social, medical, financial, and legal strategies for people with disabilities and their families. A life care plan continually changes to adapt to the needs of the individual throughout his or her life.
Financial Services Representatives. A Financial Services Representative who specializes in working with special needs will work with the person with a disability or other special need, their family members or caregiver, and their personal advisors to help you:
- Understand the social, medical, and legal needs of the person with the disability or special need;
- Review your financial picture;
- Learn about options that make sense for your situation;
- Ensure benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income won't inadvertently be jeopardized, and;
- Maximize finances, and help maintain the lifestyle of the individual with special needs.
Medical Professionals. Medical professionals provide informational and emotional support for the individual with special needs and/or families.
Social Workers. Social workers often act as the client advocate when working with other service professionals (e.g. schools, medical facilities, financial advisors and/or special care planners/ChSNC).
Attorneys. Attorneys provide legal services for people with disabilities and other special needs, their families or caregivers. They work closely with financial advisors and other Financial Services Representatives to develop the proper documentation for various items such as trusts.
Accountants. Accountants, working with Financial Services Representatives and other advisors, seek to understand the unique financial requirements of a person with a disability or other special needs and his or her family in order to help them properly develop a life care plan.
Family Member or Caregiver. The family member or caregiver plays a pivotal role in determining the proper care and benefits for the person with a disability by working closely with other members of the team.
Here are some external website links to provide families with further information to support loved ones with special needs.
Links to Organizations
- Academy of Special Needs Planners
- Brain Injury Association of America
- Autism Speaks
- Easter Seals
- Autism Society of America
- National Down Syndrome Congress
- National Down Syndrome Society
- National Spinal Cord Injury Association
- Paralyzed Veterans of America
- Special Needs Alliance
- United Cerebral Palsy
Links to Services
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- Individual Education Plan (IEP)
- Office of Special Education & Rehabilitation Services (OSERS)
Links to Educational Materials
For Family Advisors
If you have clients who are caring for a person with a disability or other special needs—a child, a spouse or a dependent parent—our SpecialCare SM program can help by providing access to information, specialists, and financial solutions that can help you and your client:
- find information and contacts related to health care issues,
- learn more about earning and supplementing an income,
- create a safe and accessible living environment,
- find needed special equipment,
- obtain educational assistance, and;
- enhance personal independence.
Through our SpecialCareSM Program, MassMutual helps make a difference in the quality of life for people with disabilities and other special needs and their families and caregivers.
Jerry has been active in the financial services industry for over 40 years. Jerry retired as General Agent of The Washington Group of MassMutual in 2004. Realizing that families with special needs members face unique financial challenges, he started The Washington Group Special Care Planning Team. The Washington Group Special Care Planning Team’s mission is to help make a positive difference in the lives of individuals with special needs, their caregivers, and other family members. Their knowledgeable and dedicated special needs planners assist families with developing valuable financial strategies and creating strategic financial solutions that integrate with government programs. The Special Care Planning Team has developed a unique network of professionals within the special needs community. This devoted network assists families, not only with their financial planning, but also provides a wide range of expertise to fit the diverse concerns of individuals with special needs and their families.
A pioneer and advocate for the special needs community, Jerry has spoken across the country at various conferences, forums, and panels dealing with issues and planning for the special needs community (World Congress on Disabilities, Academy of Special Needs Planners Conference, National Down Syndrome Congress, ATAXIA Conference, NDSS Adult Summit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America, Disease etc.). He has been a guest on numerous radio talk programs (Hugh Hewitt Show, Sirius XM’s Dr Radio Show, etc.).
Jerry received the Chartered Special Needs Consultant (ChSNC) designation on June 1, 2011. He was a part of the first conferment by the American College regarding the new ChSNC designation. Jerry earned his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations also from The American College. Jerry is also certified in Long Term Care (CLTC). He holds a Life/Health Insurance license and Series 7, 63, 24 & 65. Jerry graduated from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Virginia Tech (1969-1973)
American College and MassMutual Center for Special Needs Advisory Board Member
Inducted into the Virginia Tech College of Science Hall of Distinction
Member of the Virginia Tech Foundation Board
Virginia Tech National Campaign Chairman for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
Member of the Virginia Tech Dean's Roundtable Executive Committee for the College of Science
Life member of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity
Charter member and Past President of the Fair Oaks Rotary Club
Recipient of the Eleanor Sue Finkelstein Award for Special Needs
- Insurance Strategies
- Investment Strategies (Reg. Reps Only)
- Special Needs (ChSNC Required)
- College Funding Strategies
- Charitable Giving
- Retirement Income Planning
- Retirement Strategies
- Estate Planning
- Financial Education
Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck