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Part 2: Caring for someone with special needs: A look at federal and state programs.

Which federal and state programs are available to help the people you love?

Understanding federal and state programs is important, especially if you or a family member need to leave the workforce in order to care for your child. Both the National Institutes of Health and the Social Security Administration provide resources, information, and a comprehensive guide of programs available, including guidelines and eligibility.

Medicaid and Medicare may also be options, depending on your child’s disability. Medicaid is generally designed for people meeting income eligibility requirements and, while federally subsidized, is state administered. Medicare is available through the Social Security Administration and may pay the health costs of people older than 65, as well as those younger than 65 who have received Social Security benefits for at least two years

If you’re considering federal programs, you’ll need to be aware that there are asset caps and limitations for each program. Because of these asset limitations, it’s important that family members and guardians understand that financial bequests—through wills, gifting, or life insurance beneficiary designation—could compromise your child’s ability to receive federal aid.

So what’s next? Talk to others in your community, including parents, resource groups, and professionals. And contact your agent. When it comes to your family’s financial future, your New York Life agent can help you find solutions that fit your needs. And if you don’t have an agent, we’ll help you find one in your local area. Simply use the Talk to Us tab or the Consult an Agent form on the page, and an agent in your area will contact you at your convenience. Or click here to learn all the ways you can do business with us.

You can also learn more about planning for someone with special needs in our series:
Caring for someone with special needs: Where do you start?
Caring for someone with special needs: Special needs trusts and finding the right professional to help.
Caring for someone with special needs: Assessing the costs of care.
Caring for someone with special needs: Guardianship and finding peace of mind.