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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Aug. 18, 2022

EVENT: Financial planning for families with special needs

Please join other military families for a one-hour webinar explaining how Special Needs Trusts and Able Accounts might help provide additional financial security for your eligible family members.

The event will be held Aug. 24 at 11 am EDT. It is hosted by OneOp (formerly known as the Military Families Learning Network).

According to NOLO, a legal resource, Special Needs Trusts can hold funds for your loved one that do not affect their financial eligibility for government programs, like social security insurance and Medicare. This is because they are managed by a trustee and are not considered to be part of your loved one's assets when eligibility is determined. Also, the Able Resource Center explains that Able Accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts that can fund disability expenses.

The discussion’s presenter, Alison Packard, from the Packard Law Firm, will explore the use of Able Accounts and describe the strengths and limitations of this special needs planning tool, as well as, describe the services you can pay for with them. The training compares the effectiveness of Able Accounts versus Special Needs Trusts in maintaining eligibility for needs-based government benefits, avoiding Medicaid paybacks, providing alternatives to guardianships, and offering long-term financial strategies for families wishing to provide for loved ones with special needs.

Specifically, the goals for the training include providing you with these insights to:

  • Gain a better understanding of the different types of Special Needs Trusts and when a Medicaid payback is required
  • Understand how to select an appropriate trustee
  • Learn how Able Accounts can be used in combination with or in place of Special Needs Trusts
  • Discover strategies to receive the maximum SSI award—even when the SSI recipient lives at home and receives “in-kind support and maintenance”
  • Understand the critical need for long-term estate planning for individuals with special needs.


  • To register for this one-hour training, visit OneOp’s website and RSVP (found on the top right side of the page). You will then be able to access the webinar via  YouTube Live—the details will be sent to you via email.
  • This training can be used as continuing education credit toward various programs and certifications; refer to the OneOp website to determine what will be accepted, or for additional information.
  • PLEASE NOTE: This event is not hosted by the U.S. Coast Guard or any other federal agency. Please review our external link disclaimer.