MetLife said that its nationwide group of Special Needs Planners serving families and individuals will operate under a new name, the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning.

The company said that the Special Needs Planners work with local non-profit organizations and service providers to give support and to secure the independence for the special needs individual.

National non-profit partners include The ARC, Autism Society of America (ASA), Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD), TASH, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (TS Alliance), and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP).

By working with a attorney, MetLife Special Needs Planners can help families address critical issues, including how to protect future government eligibility and ways in which a special needs trust can provide for lifetime care, the company said.

Lori Epstein, vice president of MetLife, said: “Awareness of the true scope of the special needs community has expanded dramatically in the past dozen years, and our services and expertise have evolved as well.

“Families caring for dependents with special needs want guidance to help meet planning challenges. While caregivers are aging, dependents are living longer. We want to be there throughout life’s journey for special needs individuals, helping them to have a more secure financial future and giving the entire family a level of comfort.”