Voya Cares external resources

Reliable information about special needs planning topics can be hard to find — but we’re here to guide you in the right direction. Use the following trusted planning resources for additional support in creating the quality of life your loved one with special needs deserves.

Table of contents

Caregiver support resources

Caregiver Action Network (CAN)

Caregiver Action Network (opens new window) is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. A non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.

Caregiver Alliance

FCA CareJourney (opens new window), is a secure online service for quality information, support, and resources for family caregivers of adults with chronic physical or cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, and other illnesses.

Hidden Heroes

Hidden Heroes (opens new window) brings vital attention to the untold stories of military caregivers and seeks solutions for the tremendous challenges and long-term needs they face. Military caregivers don’t often ask for help, but they deserve our support.

Every Day Caregivers resource directory

Every Day Caregivers (opens new window) has a vision to be the circle of support that enables every day family caregivers to confidently and compassionately provide care to those they love without sacrificing their own emotional, physical, social, and financial health.

Exceptional Family Member

Exceptional Family Member Program, EFMP (opens new window), offers many services for military families. It’s all about helping your family navigate the medical and educational system, so you can have more peace of mind about your family member’s care. We assist by:

  • Identifying and enrolling family members with special medical or educational needs.
  • Finding out what services are available at your present or new duty station.
  • Supporting your family with information, referrals and non-clinical case management to access services.

Community resources

Center for Parent Information and Resources

The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) (opens new window) is a helpful caregiver and parental resource providing information on education, employment, housing, accommodations, local advocacy groups and events.

Dial 211 for essential community services

In many states, dialing “211” (opens new window) provides individuals and families in need with a shortcut through what can be a bewildering maze of health and human service agency phone numbers. By simply dialing 211, those in need of assistance can be referred, and sometimes connected, to appropriate agencies and community organizations.

ILRU directory of Centers for Independent Living and Associations

The ILRU Directory of Centers for Independent Living and Associations (opens new window) is a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential private nonprofit agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provides an array of independent living services.



Disability:IN (opens new window) is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Their network of more than 170 corporations expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises. Their organization and 50 affiliates raise a collective voice of positive change for people with disabilities in business.

Jobs and education for people with disabilities

At USA.gov, (opens in new window) learn about employment resources on how to find a government job and prepare for a job interview. You can also find information on employment laws and how to file a workplace harassment or discrimination complaint. Also, search educational programs for students with disabilities.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA (opens in new window) offers guidance for employers to encourage hiring of people with disabilities. By investing in recruiting, hiring, and retaining talent—including people with disabilities—businesses can give themselves a competitive edge and demonstrate their commitment to inclusion.

State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies

By contacting your local vocational rehabilitation office (opens in new window) you will tap into a wealth of resources related to employment options for people with disabilities. Vocational rehabilitation (VR), a state-supported division of services, assists individuals with disabilities who are pursuing meaningful careers.

Financial and legal support

ABLE National Resource Center

The ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) (opens new window) is a collaborative whose supporters share the goal of accelerating the design and availability of ABLE accounts for the benefit of individuals with disabilities and their families. They bring together the investment, support and resources of the country’s largest and most influential national disability organizations.

Academy of Special Needs Planners

The Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP) (opens new window) is comprised of special needs planning professionals, such as attorneys, trust officers and financial planners who are focused on providing the highest quality of service and advice to people with special needs and to their families. The ASNP provides its member planning professionals with access to the latest information on legal developments and a venue for exchanging best practices in providing services to people with disabilities.

Directory of pooled special needs trusts

The Academy of Special Needs Planners compiled a list of pooled trusts by state for your reference. (opens in new window) Such trusts pool the resources of many beneficiaries, and those resources are managed by a non-profit association.

Funding resources for special needs & adaptive equipment

eSpecial Needs has compiled this list (opens in new window) of potential funding resources for people who need help paying for adaptive equipment and other special needs related expenses.

Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)

Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) (opens new window) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with special needs.

National Disability Institute

The National Disability Institute (NDI) (opens new window) is focused on driving social impact to create a better economic future for people with disabilities and their families. This organization offers a long list of financial resources, including tax preparation, benefits planning and more.

Special Needs Alliance

The Special Needs Alliance (SNA) (opens new window) is a national organization comprised of attorneys dedicated to the practice of disability and public benefits law. The SNA can advise parents and caregivers on special education, guardianships, establishing special needs trust and a long list of other related subjects.

Special needs grants

The Kaufman Children’s Center has compiled a list (opens in new window) of grant resources for families and children with special needs.

Supported decision-making

The National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making (opens new window) believes that everyone has the Right to Make Choices. Supported Decision-Making is a way people can make their own decisions and stay in charge of their lives, while receiving any help they need to do so. Here, you'll find information about supported decision-making and guardianship laws in your state.

Government support

Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS)

The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) serves as the focal point for all national program policies and operations related to:

  • Medicaid

    Medicaid (opens new window) provides a variety of benefits including health and long-term care to millions of Americans, including eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults and people with disabilities.

  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

    The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) (opens new window) provides comprehensive health benefits to children. States have flexibility to design their own program within federal guidelines, so benefits vary by state and by the type of CHIP program.

  • Basic Health Program (BHP)

    The Basic Health Program (BHP) (opens new window) is a health benefits coverage program for low-income residents who would otherwise be eligible to purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Housing and Urban Development resource locator

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Resource Locator (opens new window) Find Affordable Housing, HUD offices, Public Housing Authorities, Homeless Resources, and Affordable Elderly and Special Needs Housing based on your location.

Housing resources for people with disabilities

From usa.gov (opens new window), A variety of federal, state, and local housing programs can help you find and afford a place to live, modify an existing home for disabilities, or help you develop skills to live independently. Each program has its own eligibility rules and application process.

Medicaid Waiver Programs

From Medicaid.gov, this searchable list of State Waivers programs (opens in new window) includes descriptions and fact sheets for waiver programs in your state. Waivers can allow states to provide services to residents that wouldn't usually be covered by Medicaid.


The Medicare.gov website (opens new window) includes information about whether you’re eligible for Medicare and whether you get Medicare automatically. It also includes your Medicare coverage choices and how Medicare works with other insurance.

National Council on Disability

The National Council on Disability (NCD) (opens new window) is an independent federal agency tasked with advising the President, Congress as well as other agencies regarding programs, policies, procedures and practices that affect people with special needs and disabilities.

Section 8 housing choice voucher program

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (opens new window) is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) (opens new window) is an independent agency of the U.S. government that administers multiple social insurance programs, including:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (opens new window) offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The TANF program (opens new window), which is time limited, assists families with children when the parents or other responsible relatives cannot provide for the family’s basic needs.

U.S. Department of Education Section 504

Section 504 (opens new window) is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education. Section 504 provides: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . .”

U.S. Department of Education Guide to the Individualized Education Program

Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) (opens new window). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability.

Veteran’s Disability Benefits

The Veteran’s Disability Benefits website (opens new window) provides information about types of benefits available to some veterans with disabilities. These include compensation, pensions, and grants for veterans with certain service-connected disabilities as well as pensions for some veterans 65 and older and grants for vets with age-related disabilities.

Social and human services nonprofit organizations

Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association (opens new window) is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

American Council of the Blind

The American Council of the Blind (opens new window) shapes policies that affect people who are blind.

The Arc

The Arc (opens new window) is an advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, Down syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and a range of other special needs. In addition to providing support and services, the Arc offers workplace inclusion programs, pooled special needs trusts and reliable information on ABLE accounts.

Autism Society

The Autism Society of America (opens new window) has been improving the lives of those affected by autism for more than 50 years. As the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, they work to increase public awareness on the day-to-day issues of people across the spectrum, advocate for appropriate services for individuals of all ages and provide the latest information on research, education, treatment and advocacy.

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks (opens new window) is dedicated to promoting solutions — throughout the lifespan and across the spectrum — for individuals with autism and their families through support and advocacy; increasing acceptance and understanding of people with autism; and advancing research into better interventions and causes for autism and other conditions.

Brain Injury Association of America

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) (opens new window) is the nation’s oldest and largest brain injury advocacy organization working to advance research, awareness, education and treatment to improve the quality of life of those impacted by brain injury.


Disability:IN (opens new window) is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Their network of more than 170 corporations expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises. Their organization and 50 affiliates raise a collective voice of positive change for people with disabilities in business.


Easter Seals (opens new window) is the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of services and advocacy for people with disabilities of all ages. For more than 100 years, Easterseals has worked tirelessly to enhance quality of life and expand local access to health care, education and employment opportunities.

Lighthouse Guild

The Lighthouse Guild (opens new window) provides resources and information for people with vision loss.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) (opens new window) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization with 1000 affiliates across the country.

National Association of the Deaf

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) (opens new window) is a leading civil rights organization for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) (opens new window) is the leading human rights organization working to improve inclusion for all people with Down syndrome. This advocacy group is an excellent resource for new and expectant parents of a child with Down syndrome.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) (opens new window) conducts research and advocacy, and operates programs and services for people living with MS. Local and regional chapters operate in many locales.

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

The American Association of People with Disabilities (opens new window) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities.

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) (opens new window) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. To advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network.

United Spinal Association

The United Spinal Association works to improve the quality of life of all people living with a spinal cord injury or disease. United Spinal provides active-lifestyle information, peer support and advocacy, which empower individuals to achieve their highest potential in all facets of life. Find a chapter (opens new window) or support group (opens new window) near you.

Special needs and disability media

Disability Scoop

The Disability Scoop (opens new window) is the premier source for developmental disability news.

Exceptional Parent Magazine

Exceptional Parent Magazine (opens new window) is an award-winning publication serving the special needs community.

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