Caregivers and life insurance: What you need to know

grandfather, daughter and grandson on a swing smiling

Having life insurance when you’re a caregiver can be a beneficial piece of long-term planning when it comes to the anticipated continued care of your loved one with special needs. Giving them the care and support they deserve is a lifelong commitment, so putting some safety nets in place can be that much more important — and complex.

According to AARP, more than one in five Americans (21.3%) are caregivers, having provided care to an adult or child with special needs at some time in the past 12 months.* As a caregiver, you want to make sure your loved one will be taken care of in the event of your death. That’s where life insurance can help. While coverage amounts can vary, a life insurance benefit can help to cover the cost of a personal care assistant to take over your responsibilities, funeral expenses, future schooling, therapy sessions or other items he or she might need.

It’s also very important to choose your life insurance beneficiary (or beneficiaries) wisely. Before you name someone with special needs as a beneficiary, keep this in mind — doing so might unintentionally disqualify them from any government benefits he or she may currently receive, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Talk with a specially trained financial professional or legal advisor to create a special needs trust that can help properly protect your beneficiary over the long term. The funds in the trust can be used for your loved one’s expenses not covered by government benefits.

Your next steps start right here

Creating a plan starts with meeting a specially trained financial professional to learn the next best steps you should take. You can also start by visiting the Voya Cares website at to learn more.

*AARP Public Policy Institute, Caregiving in the United States 2020, May 14, 2020,

Neither Voya Financial® or its affiliated companies or representatives offer legal or tax advice. Please seek the advice of a tax attorney or tax advisor prior to making a tax-related insurance/investment decision. Group Annual Term Life Insurance is underwritten by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN) and ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York (Woodbury, NY). Within the State of New York, only ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York is admitted, and its products issued. Both are members of the Voya® family of companies. Voya Employee Benefits is a division of both companies. Product availability and specific provisions may vary by state.